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Full text of "Viola, or, The triumphs of love and faith : a tale of plots and counterplots"

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Tlit' Story about the Bird. 



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VIOLA; 



OR, THE 



TRIUMPHS OF LOVE AND FAITH. 



% Calt of ^Itrts nnb (Sounttrplote. 



BY 

WILLIAM EARLE BINDER, 

Author of " Madelon Ilawley, or The Jesuit and his Victim," etc., eta 



H. DAYTON, PUBLISHER, 

36 HOWARD STREET. 

INDUNAPOLIS, IND. : ASHER & COMPANY. 

1859. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by 

EVANS & CO., 

In the Clerk s Office of the District Court of the United States, for the 

Southern District of New York. 



J . J . REED, 
PRINTKR fc STKRKOTYPBRj 

43 Centre-St., N. Y. 






C N T E N r S. 



CHAPTER I 
THE OLD MAN3I0N HOUSE. -----♦. 7 

CHAPTER II. 
VIOLA HASTINGS AND HER JESUIT UNCLE. - - - - 12 

CHAPTER III. 

BEGINNING OF TROUBLE. — VIOLA AT THE CONVENT SCHOOL. 

SCHEMES TO INDUCE HER TO TAKE THE VAIL. - - - 23 

CHAPTER IV. 

VIOLA STILL AT IHE CONVENT SCHOOL.'^THE PLOT THICKEN- 
ING. — FALSE REPRESENTATIONS. — Tjffe FORGED LETTER. - 27 

CHAPTER V. 

THE JESUIT REVEALS HIS PLANS TO THE SUPERIOR OF THE 
CONVENT SCHOOL, AND DIRECTS HER HOW TO ACT WITH 
VIOLA DURING THE ENSUING YEAR. - - - - - 42 

CHAPTER VI. 
THE FOKGED LETTER AGAIN. — VIOLa's GRIEF. - - - 47 

CHAPTER VII. 

END OF ANOTHER YEAR.— THE JESUIT AGAIN AT TH^ CONVENT 

SCHOOL. VIOLA GOES TO MT. CARMEL. - - - - 51 

CHAPTER VIII. 

VIOLA AT MT. CARMEL. THE BREAKING OUT OF THE FEVER 

IN THE SOUTH. .----.•--54 



iv Contents, 



CHAPTER IX. ^ 

THE FEVER HOSPITAL. — VIOLa's PATIENT. - - - - 67 

CHAPTER X. 

VIOLA AND HER LOVER. — THE SPY. — THE SUMMONS. — THE 

WATCH. — VIOLA SENT BACK TO MT. CARMEL. - - - 67 

CHAPTER XI. 

Kenneth's new nurse. — the discovery. — the counter- 
plot. ------.---71 

CHAPTER XII. 

departure of viola for MT. CARMEL. — SCIPIO IX HER 

TRACKS. KENNETH CONVALESCENT. - - - - - 80 

CHAPTER XIII. 

VIOLA AT MT. CARMEL. — INTERVIEW WITH HER UNCLE. — GOING 

BACK TO THE OLD MANSION HOUSE. - - - - - 85 

CHAPTER XIV. 
ON THE WAY. — THE ENCOUNTER ON THE ROAD. - - - 94 

CHAPTER XV. 

KENNETH AT MT. CARMEL. — ANOTHER SPY. - - * - -96 

CHAPTER XVI. 

VIOLA A PRISONER AT THE PRIESt's HOUSE IN BALTIMORE. — THE 
LAY JESUIT AND THE TWO PRIESTS CONSPIRING AGAINST 
KENNETH. --------- 103 

CHAPTER XVII. 

THE DKCOY. — THE ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION. - • - 108 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
viola's letter. — THE STRANGE CARRIER. . - - - 116 



Contents, 



CPIAPTER XIX. 
Kenneth's escape. - - - - 

CHAPTER XX. 

KENNETH^S SPECULATIONS. - - - 



-124 



128 



CHAPTER XXI. 

DELIVERY OF VIOLa's LETTER BY THE STRANGE CARRIER. - 132 

CHAPTER XXII. 

KENNETH PURCHASES THE NEGRO SCIPIO, TO AID HIM IN HIS 

ENTERPRISE. ----- --. 139 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

VIOLA AT THE OLD MANSION HOUSE. - - - - 146 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

RUPTURE BETVV^EEN VIOLA AND HER UNCLE. — THE JESUIT AN- 
NOUNCES TO HIS NIECE THE DEATH OF KENNETH. — THE YOUNG 
girl's GRIEF. --------- 149 

CHAPTER XXV. 

THE JESUIT AND HIS SON. — THE CONSULTATION. — THE PLOT TO 
GET RID OF VIOLA AND SECURE HER FORTUNE. — FATHER 
AND SON SECRETLY ARRAYED AGAINST EACH OTHER. — VIOLA 
STILL TO BE THE SUFFERER WHICH EVER TRIUMPHS. - - 157 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

INTERVIEW BETWEEN TF1E TWO COUSINS, FERDINAND AND 

VIOLA. — THE PROPOSAL OF MARRIAGE. — ITS REJECTION. - 168 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

THE JESUIT AND FATHER RENOUF. — THE DECOY LETTER. — THE 

JESUIT TRAPPED. - 177 



vi Contents. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

KEXNETH EGERTON AND 5CIPI0 IX PHILADELPHIA. — MORE 
COUNTERPLOTTING. — DEPARTURE OF THE JESUIT. FATHER 
HENOUFj AND FERDINAND FROM THE OLD MANSION. — ARRIVAL 
or KENNETH AND SCIPIO. — PREPARATIONS TO RESCUE VIOLA. 193 

CHAPTER XXIX. 
viola's RELEASE NEARLY ACCOMPLISHED. ... - 209 

CHAPTER XXX. 

viola's ESCAPE CONTINUED. — ALMOST DISCOVERED. — FREE AT 

LAST. — CROSSING THE SCHUYLKILL. - - - - • 218 

CHAPTER XXXI. 

THE JESUIT, FERDINAND, AND FATHER RENOUF ON THEIR WAY 
TO THE CITV. — THE DISCOVERY OF THE TRICK. — RETURN TO 
THE OLD MANSION HOUSE. — CROSSING THE SCHUYLKILL. — 
COLLISION BETWEEN THE BOATS. ----- 230 

CHAPTER XXXII. 

THE RENCOUNTER ON THE SCHUYLKILL. — THE STRUGGLE. — GO- 
ING OVER THE DAM. — DEATH OF THE JESUIT AND FERDI- 
NAND. — ESCAPE OF VIOLA, KENNETH, AND SCIPlO. - - 245 

CHAPTER XXXIIJ. 

TEN YEARS AFTER. — HAPPINESS. — VIOLA A WIFE AND MOTHER. 

REMINISCENCES. -------- 257 



VIOLA HASTINGS. 



CHAPTER I. 

THK OLD MANSION-HOUSE. 

In the year 18 — , there stood upon the banks of the 
river Schuylkill, nearly opposite what is now the 
northern suburbs of the city of Philadelphia, an old- 
time mansion house, the property of one Pedro 
Torillo ; and. at the time of which we write, occupied 
by himself and family. 

The building was quite large, and was constructed 
of rough gray stone ; and everything about it — walls, 
doors, windows, etc. — were of the most massive and 
substantial character. It stood upon an elevated 
piece of ground, and was approached from the direct 
road to the city of Philadelphia, by a broad and spa- 
cious, though tortuous avenue, at the entrance to 
which was the porter^s lodge. From the public road 
the mansion was not visible, the surrounding forest 
completely concealing it from view. From the east 
Bide, the descent from the house — which faced to the 



Viola Hasfinrjs ; 01% 



south — was by a steep hill, at the bottom of which 
the rippling Schuylkill flowed gently along. From 
the off-side of the river, and the opposite shore, the 
upper portions only of the mansion house were to be 
seen. From the narrow beach at the bottom of the 
hill, however, the whole of the east side of the house 
was pretty visible, the sight being only partly ob- 
scured by the trunks of the trees which lined the 
declivity. From the stream, or the opposite shore, 
the foliage of the trees, in summer, intervened to mar 
the view. In the winter the prospect was better. 
On the north and south ends, and on the west side, 
the small clearing, in the centre of which the build- 
ing stood, was completely hemmed in by the primeval 
forest. 

The mansion comprised one large building, con- 
structed in the ancient castellated style ; and a num- 
ber of smaller ones, rather irregular in form and size, 
which had once served, in its more prosperous days, 
for barns, granaries, stables, etc. These latter were 
evidently, however, of far more modern construction 
than the principal building — which exhibited all the 
marks of a very ancient origin — and seemed to have 
been put iip without any very great regard to either 
symmetry or effect. The eye could not fail to per- 
ceive, however, that the whole collection of buildings 
was admirably adapted, both in strength and con- 
struction, for defence. Whether they had ever been 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 9 

the scene of warfare, we are not prepared to say. 
That they had not been immediately before, nor were 
after the date of this narrative, is certain ; f jr not 
many years subsequent to the occurrence of those 
events which it is now our province to relate, the old 
building was razed to the ground. 

As we have stated, the main building was large, 
and constructed of rough gray stone, which gave it 
the appearance of a rude fortification. And we 
doubt not but that such was the design of the origi- 
nal founder — a Spanish grandee, and the great grand- 
father of the present occupant — who fled his native 
country, and made his home in the then wilds of 
America, having rendered himself politically obnox- 
ious to his own government. 

The turrets of the house — or, more properly speak- 
ing, castle — which rose one above the other, were 
lofty ; and though almost entirely concealed from 
outside observation, by the surrounding forest, they 
yet afforded to the occupants an excellent view of the 
city of Philadelphia, and the contiguous country. 

The principal door of entrance, which was very 
large, massive, and deeply set in the wall, was reached 
by a flight of some half-a-dozen rough stone steps. The 
door opened into a spacious hall, and opposite it, at 
the north end, was a flight of heavy winding stairs, 
which communicated with the upper portions of the 
building. On either side of the hall, on the lower 



10 Viola Hastings; or, 



floor, were the parlors, drawing-rooms, dining-room, 
kitchen, etc. The east wing of the building, facing 
the Schuylkill, consisted, on the second floor, of the 
dancing saloon, and on the third floor, of chambers. 
In the west wing was the chapel, the armory, the 
library, etc. The chapel was modelled after the style 
of the Romish Cathedrals, and was gorgeous in its 
images, and crosses, and showy trappings. The ar- 
mory was well supplied with implements and muni- 
tions of war, sufficient to have armed and accoutered 
a whole regiment. 

It had always been the custom with the proprietors 
of this ancient mansion house, to maintain within its 
walls a priest, whose exclusive duty it was to officiate 
in the little chapel on high-days and holy-days ; and 
at other times to devote his attention to smoothing 
the way through purgatory, for those who, doubtless, 
very frequently needed his ghostly ministrations. 
That was, however, when the family was plentifully 
supplied with gold. The present proprietor — to 
whom, of course, the estate had descended by entail- 
ment, and to the share of w^hose eldest son it would 
fall at his death — possessed but a small modicum of 
the world^s goods ; and though quite as good a Catho- 
lic as his more fortunate predecessors — as will ap- 
pear — he was compelled either to officiate himself — 
for he, too, kept up all the customs of the Holy 
Church — or be content with the occasional presence 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 11 

of one of the fathers from the city. Sometimes, how- 
ever, the chapel organ would peal forth wild and 
exultant strains, and the sonorous voice of some glib- 
tongued priest fill the little place with prayers and 
supplications, which were rather a mockery, than an 
offering to the Lord of Hosts. 

More frequently, however, the old armory would 
ring with the clash of swords, or resound with the 
sharp crack of fire-arms ; and not unfrequently the 
dancing saloon would be filled with light and music, 
and echo to the shuflBiing of many feet. 

For a few years prior to the opening of the present 
narrative, however, all these sounds and sights had 
gradually been heard and seen less ; until at length 
they ceased entirely. In consequence of the habita- 
tions being very scarce in the immediate vicinity of 
the old mansion house, the continuance or discon- 
tinuance of these things did not attract much atten- 
tion, or create any very great degree of remark. 
Some, who noticed the change, wondered a little, and 
then thought no more of the matter. 

With this description of the " great house," as it 
was then termed, we will turn now to those who oc- 
cupied it ; the scheming, cheating, hypocritical, un- 
scrupulous Jesuit — his dissipated, reckless, and deep* 
ly sinful dOn ; and the pure, innocent, gentle maiden, 
unsullied and stainless in word, thought and deed. 



12 Viola Hastings; or, 



CHAPTER ir. 

VIOLA HASTINGS AND HER JESUIT UNCLE. 

Pedro Torillo, the hereditary proprietor of the 
aforesaid estate, was, as we have already stated, of 
Spanish origin. Of his pedigree, or position, little 
more need be said. Of his appearance, character, 
and disposition, however, something further is de- 
manded. 

Imagine a man some sixty odd years of age, short 
of stature, reasonably stout, and of good general pro- 
portions ; with a bend in the upper part of his body 
that always caused his head to project several inches 
too much forward, and which compelled him to look 
up under his eyebrows when he addressed a person 
who stood erect. The skin of his face and hands 
was of a saffron hue, dry, crisp, and much wrinkled. 
The entire top of his head was bald, while the gray 
hairs which lined his temples and the back part of 
his head, were long, spare and straggling. His eyes 
were small, black and piercing ; and were surmount- 
ed by large, thick, and heavy gray eyebrows. Clad 



The Triumph of Love ami Faith, 13 

always in sombre black, and in the ancient style — 
breeches, silk stockings, and silver buckled shoes 
— he was a man once seen to be forever remembered ; 
though not probably with any very agreeable emotions. 

With the estate, Pedro Torillo had also inherited 
the religion — if to call it so is not a misnomer — of his 
forefathers ; and all their deep-seated and besotted 
hatred of the Protestants. His hot, Spanish blood, 
admitted of no modification of his feelings, and con- 
sequently he hated intensely, and with all his heart. 
Besides which, there was with him the greater induce- 
ment of impious oaths, and unhallowed obligations, 
such as only the iron tyranny of the Church of Rome 
. is monstrous enough to impose on its followers. He 
was a Jesuit, too ; and an uncompromising follower, 
in the temporal sense, especially in the footsteps of 
Ignatius Loyola. 

Wonder not when we say he was a Jesuit ! It is 
an erroneous conclusion people have formed that all 
Jesuits must necessarily be officiating priests. Ac- 
cording to the books of the founder of that powerful 
organization — whose object was more to obtain tem- 
poral than spiritual power, though the latter was 
necessary to the former — the society of Jesus con- 
sists of those both in and out of orders.* The 

* It was not contemplated to make the Society of Jesus a strictly religious one 
—nor IS it so. Its founders had other objects in view, as well of a temporal as 
of a spiritual character ; and therefore is the injunction given to its memberf 



14 Viola Hastings ; or, 

latter, however, are seldom known as such ; and 
through them all necessary information is speedily 
and secretly obtained. 

Unquestionably the Order of Jesus is the most se- 
cret, binding, and world-wide organization that was 
ever conceived. And Catholicism, aiming always at 
universal dominion, temporal and spiritual, finds in 
Jesuitism its principal, and most efficient co-laborer. 
The world is girdled by the Order ; and there is not 
a spot but harbors its hidden emissaries. At the 
foot of every throne, and beneath the roof of every 
hut, figuratively speaking, there lurks a Jesuit spy.^ 

*' to live among other men as other men do^ And why 7 That they might 
the better spy out the internal workings of men's thoughts and actions — the 
better plan out their schemes of aggrandizement and power. What a volume 
of deceit and treachery does that one simple charge unfold ! And who doubts 
but that they do " live among other men as other men do ?" unknown and un- 
watched, and therefore the more dangerous and the more to be feared. 

Four classes, or degrees, compose the Society, the highest of which are priests ; 
the second are styled coadjutors, and are employed in matters either spiritual 
or temporal. The third class is that of scholars — youths who, prior to 
entering the Jesuit school, assume three vows, and bina themselves to enter 
the service of the Society, if required. The fourth class — the lowest in their 
gradation — consists of novices. The term of the novitiate is two years, more 
or less, at the discretion of the Superior. 

*In 1540, Paul III. officially recognized the Order ; and from that time it 
continued to >}'read, until at length its power and influence grew to be almost 
fabulous. Within Ihe space of a few years " Houses of the Order" were firmly 
established in Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, Sicily and India, and 
even at that early day, beyond the limits of the Komish Church. The rapidity 
of its progress baa ever been unequalled, and can only be accounted for by its 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 15 

It is confidently asserted — and the declaration, at 
least, can easily be substantiated — that not many 
years since a Jesuit occupied for a considerable period 
the pulpit of an Episcopalian church in the city of 
New York, having designedly assumed a name and 
character to mislead those with whom he was asso- 
ciated.* Now if that man^s object does not plainly 

mysterious fascination, and the vail of religious bigotry and fanaticism which 
enveloped those portions of the globe Tvhere its course was most marked. At 
this time, too, colleges were organized in various parts of Europe. These insti- 
tutions of learning were designed for the " religious and secular instruction of 
children, and for restoring a catholic belief among apostate nations." France, 
however, stood aloof ; not from any dislike to the Society itself, but through 
fear thfit beneath the surface some Spanish plot might be concealed. Once con- 
vinced that its surmises were erroneous, and France rapidly grew to bo the 
principal theatre of its exploits. As an evidence of the cunning of the Society. 
however, we would mention that even at that time, when the French nation 
was most determinedly set against the admission of Jesuitism on its soil, a 
prosperous and powerful college had been established, and was in full blast 

* The editor of the New York National Magazine^ in an article which ap- 
peared a year or so since, headed — " A Jesuit in an American Protes- 
tant Pulpit," said : — 

The respected correspondent who asks our authority for asserting thnt one of 
the predecessors of Dr. Tyng, in the rectorship of St. Georges, was a Jesuit in 
disguise, is referred to the life of the Rev. Dr. Milnor, by Rev. John S. Stone, 
published by the American Tract Society in 1848. At page 316 of that vol- 
ume is an extract from Dr. Milnor's Journal while in England, of which the 
following is a copy : 

*' In the course of our conversation a curious fact was developed in relation 
to Dr. Kewley, my predecessor in St. Georges. Mr. Mayer said that he had 
seen him in Italy, and was well acquainted with him. He passes here by the 
name of Father Kewley ; but Mr. Mayer says he knows his true name to be 
Lawson. He has no doubt that Dr. Kewley was a Jesuit during the whole 
time of his reHdence in America.^ ^ 



16 Viola Hastings ; or^ 

appear we are strangely mistaken. If he was not 
endeavoring to aid in some secret combination, what 
could have been his object ? 

In politics especially — for therein consists the se- 
cret of all power — Jesuitism has always sought to, 
and in Europe has generally succeeded in holding 
the winning hand. Its temporal power is the foun- 
dation stone of the whole vast superstructure, and 
the uppermost idea embodied in its laws. By that 
means it seeks to aid Catholicism in disseminating 
the religion — mockery ! mockery ! — of the idolatrous 
Church of the seven hills. And as in Europe, so 
here — as in times past, so now. 

The Romish Church — let who will cry out. No — 
has a longing, avaricious eye fixed unwaveringly on 
this fair land of America ; and in furtherance of this 
grasping desire, Jesuitism, the hand-maid of the 
Scarlet Woman,* has its members, its agents, and its 
spies, scattered throughout the length and breadth 
of the country. 

Who knows, indeed, but that here in our midst 
the ^'General" of the Order — he whom all, from the 

* In 1537 the Society was reorganized at Venice. It then consist?d of but 
nine persons, and for their better protection " it was resolved that they should 
present themselves before the sovereign pontiff, Paul III., proffering to the 
Apostolic See, themselves without condition — their bodies, souls, and utmost 
services, to be disposed of for the good of the Church, in whatever manner 
should be judged the most conducive to that end." The petition of the mem- 
bers was granted, and an unlimited license bestowed upon their conduct. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 17 



humble neophyte to the full degreed member, are 
sworn blindly and implicitly to obey — may be quar- 
tered ? Who knows but that here in our very midst, 
this dangerous organization may hold its periodical 
gatherings, when are collected together its represen- 
tatives and agents from all quarters of the globe ? 
And who knows ? who can fathom the plots and in- 
trigues which are then and there concocted against 
the government, and the religion of the meek and 
lowly Jesus ? We can but guess at them by watching 
and studying the course of human events. Of one 
thing, however, we may feel certain, and that is, that 
nothing good or wholesome for a liberal, enlightened, 
and Protestant Republic, ever emanated from the 
darkened soul of a Romish Jesuit. 

Of this powerful and dangerous Order was Pedro 
Torillo ; though but few, outside of the association, 
were fcimiliar with the fact. In society he was affa- 
ble, polite, and courteous ; and to the observing eye, 
he frequently appeared far too much so. In his own 
house, however, when no prying eye was there to see 
and report his conduct, he, very often, gave full play 
to his violent, stubborn, and overbearing disposition. 
Even to those of his own class, who were beneath 
him, he was cruel and tyrannical to an extreme ; 
while to his equals and superiors he was fawning, 
hypocritical, and sycophantic. 

Just before the breaking out of the war of Inde- 



18 Viola Sasiiiigs ; or, 

pendence, Pedro, then quite a lad, departed on a visit 
to the land of his fathors. He did not return again 
to this country until the conclusion of peace, Avhen 
he brought with him a Spanish wife, a very beautiful 
woman. While absent, his father — his only remain- 
ing parent — had died, and the estate came into his 
possession by entailment. His father, however, had 
left him little else, which Pedro, to his chagrin, soon 
discovered ; for he was a youth addicted to every 
description of debauchery and dissipation. By gam- 
ing and chicanery, however, he managed for a num- 
ber of years to replenish his consumptive coffers. 
As age began to creep over his head, he, in a measure, 
dropped these pursuits, and grew to be as we have 
already described him. It was at this time that he 
became associated with the Society of Jesus ; though, 
as will be seen, he did not, in his zeal for the Church, 
overlook his own private personal ends. He rather 
blended the two together, and made it a common 
cause. 

The fruit of his marriage was one son, who will 
figure somewhat conspicuously in this brief, but 
eventful narrative. The wife, however, disappeared 
very suddenly some few years after they had come to 
reside at the old mansion, and was never again heard 
of. Torillo gave out that the climate of this country 
was not good for her health, and she had gone home 
to her native land to reside with her people. This 



The Triumph of Love aiid Faith. 19 

story was generally credited, for Pedro, as we have 
remarked, was a very specious and plausible man. 
He could talk and act, when anything was to be 
gained, or any disagreeable impression corrected, 
above and beyond all suspicion. 

Ferdinand Torillo, Pedro's son, was born some few 
months after the arrival of his parents on these shores. 
In consequence of the sudden and mysterious disap- 
pearance of his mother a few years later, he was early 
left to the sole guidance of his father, who gradually 
instilled into his mind a large proportion of his own 
villainous disposition and feelings. At the period to 
which we now have particular reference, Ferdinand 
was just entering his fortieth year, and it may be 
safely asserted that the general characteristics of his 
conduct and disposition were as like his father's, at 
the same age, as like could be. Quite prepossessing 
in his personal appearance, and finished in his de- 
portment generally, few would ever have supposed 
him to be at bottom really so corrupt, unprincipled, 
and wicked. His Spanish origin was plainly discerni- 
ble in his swarthy complexion, deep black hair and 
eyes, glittering white teeth, and muscular but grace- 
ful form. And he too — though not like his father a 
secret emissary of the Society of Jesus* — was a zeal- 

* Says a reliable writer upon the subject — " Every Jesuit is a spy upon every 
Jesuit ; a net work of perfidy embraces the entire community, and from its 
meshes not even those highest in authority stand for a moment clear.'' And 



20 Viola Hastings; or^ 

ous, bigoted, and uncompromising Catholic ; ready 
at all times, and under all circumstances, to stoop to 
any means to further his own ends, or advance the 
general interests of the Mother Church. 

Besides Pedro, and his son Ferdinand, one other 
important person dwelt beneath the roof of the 
ancient mansion house. That was Yiola Hastings. 

The mother of Viola Hastings was Pedro Torillo's 
only sister. In her youth and beauty she had wedded 
an American gentleman named Horace Hastings, a 
Southerner of immense wealth ; and who, like herself, 
was a member — though not a very strict one — of the 
Roman Church. Not many years subsequent to the 
birth of Viola, her father was accidentally killed; 
and still a few years later, while yet our heroine was 
but a child, the mother, after a brief and severe ill- 
ness, departed this life. 

The sister, of course, placed implicit confidence in 
her brother, nor ever harbored the thought that any- 
thing could induce him to prove unkind to his own 
kin ; and so the young girl and her splendid fortune 
were alike consigned to the guardianship of Pedro 
Torillo. This was when Viola was in her tenth year. 

not only are ihey spies upon each other, but upon oi tside individuals and gov- 
ernments ; and whatever was the effect originally designed by this system of 
espionage^ in the present day, and under the present circumstances, it opens 
the door to most mischievous consequences, and places within the reach of un- 
scrupulous and rascally men tho means of gratifying every passion end desira, 
^o matter hofw dangerous or wicked. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 21 

For the five years following, the budding, dreaming 
girl lived quietly — for to her Torillo never exhibited 
any of the violence of his disposition — at the old 
mansion house ; seldom going abroad, and when she 
did, never unattended. To her unsophisticated, un- 
awakened mind, this surveillance meant nothing but 
a very natural and commendable desire to shield her 
from personal harm. She was too young, and felt too 
secure, to fathom the designs, which from the very 
moment of her first entrance into the house, had 
taken possession of her nucleus brain. 

At fifteen years of age, according to a binding obli- 
gation which he had made to his dying sister, Pedro 
Torillo carried his niece to a Catholic Seminary, in 
Maryland. But even this he resolved to turn to ac- 
count, in a manner which will shortly appear. One 
so fruitful in schemes was seldom at a loss. 

Three years after, when Viola was eighteen — at 
about which time we shall first introduce the reader 
at the old mansion house — she was suddenly and 
eecretly — in the latter respect as much so as was at 
all possible — conveyed back to her uncle's estate on 
the Schuylkill. The reason for this change, and other 
matters which had intervened, will be explained here- 
after. 

At fifteen years of age the beauty of Viola's person 
was of that description which men sometimes dream 
of, but so seldom encounter in a tangible form. The 



22 Viola Hastings; or, 

worshiping painter might transfix upon his canvas 
the impression of her exquisitely symmetrical form — 
the soft olive hue of her complexion — the ripe glow 
of her rounded cheek — the deep red of her perfectly 
cut lip, and the dazzling whiteness of her pearly 
teeth — for she was of a Southern stock, and such ma- 
ture early ; — he might present some idea of her full, 
black, liquid eyes — picture something of the luxu- 
riant beauty of her waving black hair ; but for the 
writer to attempt it with nothing but mere words, 
would be a positive waste of time. With Byron we 
can but exclaim — 

" Who hath not proved how feebly words essay, 
To fix one spark of beauty's heavenly ray 7" 

Added to these gifts of person was the more lasting 
beauty of a w^ell-informed mind, a cultivated taste, 
a refined and correct sympathy, and a liberal and just 
appreciation of what w^as right and proper. These 
feelings were not, how^ever, artificial ; they were 
created with her, and in her, and time but served to 
develop their power and beauty. In every respect, 
as all will see, Viola was a being to love and cherish. 

Besides Pedro, and his son Ferdinand, and Viola, 
there was a housekeeper, and several other male and 
female domestics attached to — and they were perfect 
fixtures — the old mansion ; but these do not, at 
least, at present, require any particular description. 
Their parts in the succeeding drama are at best but 
trifling. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith, 23 



CHAPTER III. 

BEGINNING OP TROUBLE. — VIOLA AT THE CONVENT SCHOOL. 

SCHEMES TO INDUCE HER TO TAKE THE VAIL. 

And now, reader, we will go back to the time w^hen 
Viola first left her uncle^s house on the banks of the 
Schuylkill. She was then, it will be remembered, 
fifteen years of age, and fast ripening into that per- 
fection of mental and physical beauty, which in after 
years, so distinguished her. 

In due time Pedro Torillo and his niece arrived at 
the Convent School. The young girl was immediate- 
ly introduced to her associates ; and while she was 
busy making their acquaintance, her uncle was closet- 
ed with the Superior. What transpired at that in- 
terview may be guessed from the course which the 
latter afterwards pursued. With many kind admo- 
nitions, by which he artfully vailed his true thoughts 
and intentions, the plotting Jesuit at length bade his 
beautiful niece farewell, and departed. 



24 Viola Hastings; cr, 



And in that moment appeared the cloud, small at 
first, but gradually increasing in size, which, for three 
years, darkened Viola's pathway. 

From the first hour of the young girl's arrival at 
the Seminary, she was treated differently from the 
other scholars. They were, comparatively speaking, 
free ; while she, on the contrary, was subjected to a 
regularly organized system of espionage, delicate and 
unobtrusive, and artfully concealed, it is true, but 
none the less comprehensive and certain. Each of 
the Sisters had her part to play — wherefore they 
knew not, for it was only their province to obey — 
and they set about their tasks immediately, indiffer- 
ent alike to both the cause and the effect. 

Either the Superior or one of her saint-like assist- 
ants was continually by Viola's side ; and manifold 
^ w ere the glowung panegyrics, that, on all possible 
^^g^casions, w^ere bestowed on the blessed life of those 
who accepted the vail, as a propitiation for their own, 
and the sins of their fellow-creatures. The conver- 
Bations, and other movements of a similar character, 
were managed very adroitly, and w^ith a view to 
temper the young girl's mind to k proper condition 
to receive any after impression, and yet so as not to 
alarm her youthful fancy. Her uncle's object — and 
WG might as well state it here as elsewhere — was to 
induce her to retire to a Convent ; and the means to 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 25 

be used in accomplishing that result were deceit, 
deception, hypocrisy. 

Viola, it is true, was born of Catholic parents, and 
sprung of a Catholic family upon both sides ; but as 
yet, her mind, in fact, had received no fixed religious 
impressions. Such instances we may frequently se3, 
especially in the present enlightened day. Children 
no longer feel bound to be governed by either the 
religious or political opinions of their parents, or their 
ancestors ; but claim the inalienable privilege of 
thinking and acting for themselves, according to their 
own judgment and observation — themselves only be- 
ing responsible, before God and man, for the course 
which they pursue. So Viola felt, in part at least, 
even then. And what little chance she had had for 
familiarizing herself with the religion of the " here- 
tics," had caused a wavering in her mind, which ren 
dered her, unconsciously as it were, undecided. Slie 
was a Romanist, and she was not. By right of birth 
that was her religion, but by the power of conscience 
its opposite was more truly so. Her's was a soul 
that was naturally inclined to elevate itself out of the 
mire of bigotry, and the darkness of superstition. 
And when these glowing, eloquent panegyrics of the 
nun^s life were buzzed in her ear, she listened to 
them quietly and patiently, as an evil she could not 
shun ; but without any idea of ever herself blotting 

out her mortal existence with the dark shadow of the 

2 



26 Viola Hastings; or, 

vail. Of her thoughts and feelings, however, nc 
living being was aware ; and even she herself, as we 
have already stated, was, at this time, nndecided. 
But events were hatching in the future, which surely 
and forever, turned the current of her young impres- 
sions. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 27 



CHAPTER IV. 

VIOLA STILL AT THE CONVENT SCHOOL, — THE PLOT THICKENING. 

FALSE REPRESENTATIONS, — THE FORGED LETTER. 

Thus passed a year-— to Viola a tedious period ; 
for long before its expiration she had wearied of the 
restraint which cramped all her actions, and hung 
upon her heart with a crushing weight. The con- 
tinued representations of the beatific felicity of the 
nun's life produced upon her mind a contrary effect 
to that which was designed ; though she never open- 
ly expressed herself as opposed to such views and 
opinions. In fact, her mind, at that time, was some- 
thing of a chaos, where the associations of a past life, 
and the influence of that creed with which she had 
heretofore been surrounded, were struggling with 
newer impressions, which an invisible power was ex- 
panding in her soul. 

At the expiration of the year her uncle made his 
appearance at the Convent school ; having, of course, 
designedly absented himself for so long a period. 

"Have you carried out my instructions?" — ^he de- 



28 Viola Hastings ; or, 

manded, of the Superior ; having first sought her 
presence that he might the better know what course 
to pursue with Viola. 

" Implicitly/' she replied. " There has not been a 
single occasion, nor a circumstance, permitted to slip 
by, that could, possibly, be turned to account. We 
have incessantly endeavored to impress on her mind 
the importance of being enrolled among the faithful, 
and the great joy, and peace, and blessedness of that 
life, which it is your wish — though as yet she knows 
it not — that she should emb^-ace.'^ 

"And with what success ?'' inquired Torillo, eagerly. 

" None, I think," rejoined the Superior. " She is 
ever passive, but impenetrable — ^listens, but is silent 
— ^attends to every lesson, but shows no desire for 
anything further. The subject either does not ex- 
cite any emotion at all, for or against it ; or, for one 
so young, she has a wonderful command over her 
feelings ; as it is, I fear we shall but have our labor 
for our pains. But you will see her, and you can 
then judge for yourself. In her studies, however, 
she is remarkably proficient, evincing an unbounded 
desire for all manner of information." 

" Send her hither," said Torillo, in an abstracted 
manner. 

" I will," responded the Superior. " But first let 
me ask you one thing." 

" Go on !" 



The Trittm^^h of Love and Faith, 29 

" Is there not something more weighty, more pow- 
erful than the mere requirements of religion — some- 
thing to enlist the feelings, that might be urged upon 
your niece to induce her to take this step ?" 

" I know of nothing," rejoined Torillo, musingly. 
*' I see but one course left. Possess her entire for- 
tune I must, if I have to resort to compulsion.'^ 

"In this part of the world that were best left as 
the very last resort,'^ responded the more cautious 
female. Suspicion of the Holy Church seems indigi- 
nous to this soil, and it behooves us always to be very 
guarded. Think again of my question." 

There was a moment's pause, and Torillo sat with 
his sallow face buried in his shriveled hands. 

" Yes ! yes ! I think that would do !" he suddenly 
muttered, as if in answer to some suggestion from 
another party. 

" What ?" demanded the Superior, who still con- 
tinued standing close by. 

Torillo looked up under his heavy eyebrows at his 
interlocutor. 

' " If she were induced 'o think that it was her mo- 
ther's dying request, she might then accede," re- 
sponded the scheming Jesuit, inquiringly. 

" The very thing I" exclaimed the Superior. " If 
she has a heart — and who can doubt it ? — such an 
appeal will do its work. I will now send her to you. 
Ply her well." 



30 Viola Hastings ; or, 

" Trust me for that !^' replied Torillo j and with 
this assurance his female confederate quitted the 
room. 

After she was gone; Torillo muttered to himself — 
the while slowly pacing up and down the apartment — 

" I do not fear blood nor death ; but as she is my 
sister's child, and one of us, I had rather rid myself 
of her without any violence. If, however, she will 
not be induced to take the veir^ — ^and these words 
passed through his teeth like the hiss of an envenomed 
serpent — " by the holy cross ! I must resort to some 
other method of putting her out of the way. Her 
money I must^ and iriTZ, have. My necessities, if 
nothing else, demand her sacrifice. Besides, a large 
portion of it is already spent ; and if she happened 
ever to marry, the law might call me to a too strict 
account. Ah !^' he continued, assuming a listening 
attitude, "footsteps! she comes! Now to play a 
deeper game." 

At that moment, Viola, radiant with smiles, entered 
the apartment, and greeted her uncle pleasantly. 

It will be borne in mind that at this time the young 
girl was unsuspicious of any plot, and, therefore, un- 
dreaming of her guardian nucleus complicity. 

" You are looking well and happy, Yiola, and I am 
glad of it," said Torillo, as he held her hands in his, 
and looked into her face pleasantly. " I hope to see 
you always looking so. Now sit down here beside 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 31 

me, for I wish to talk to you f and he drew her down 
to a chair, and seated himself close beside her. " Do 
you like living here ?" he continued, kindly, and 
softly. *^ I am told that you exhibit a great fondness, 
and aptness, for learning.'' 

Viola was silent ; and from the expression of her 
face, she was evidently revolving something in her 
mind. Torillo repeated the question : — 

" Do you like living here, Viola ?'' 

" I scarcely know what to say, uncle," she responded, 
at length. " There are, however, many things which 
I could certainly wish otherwise ; but in this world, 
I know, we cannot have every thing as we desire." 

^* Indeed, no," replied Torillo. " But to what do 
you refer particularly ?" 

The artful Jesuit was now sounding the young 
girl. 

" I have not liberty enough, for one thing, uncle," 
rejoined Viola, innocently. "I am watched too 
much — wherefore, I cannot imagine. I did not see 
this at first, but it is plain enough now." 

" Ah, my child, that is but in accordance with my 
instructions, and I am sure I act only for your good. 
It was not from any wish to curtail your freedom that 
I left such directions — it arose, only, from my anxiety 
for your safety. But perhaps they have been too 
zealous. I will speak about it before I leave." 

" Then agdn, uncle," continued Viola, '' they worry 



32 Viola Hastings ; v*, 

me more than I am willing to confess, by their cease- 
less panegyrics of the happy and blessed life of the 
nun. • I don't dispute but what it may be just as they 
say; but, uncle, I am here to be educated, and not to 
be pestered — for it is nothing less — with such things. 
It is out of place, uncalled for, and tiresome. I have 
not spoken of these things before, or to any one 
else ; but to you I feel it to be my duty.'' 

^* Right, my dear child," returned Torillo, conceal- 
ing his own disappointment under a smooth exterior ; 
and then he relapsed into a thoughtful, but not a 
frowning mood. 

" Will you try to make it a little pleasanter in these 
respects, uncle ?'' inquired Viola. 

There was a pause ; and then, without replying to 
her question, her uncle addressed her, slowly, and 
with seeming sorrow. 

'' Yiola," he said, and so consummate was his hj'po* 
crisy, that his voice even trembled as with the power 
of his emotion ; '* I have a duty to perform, and, un- 
der the circumstances, there is no better time than 
the present in which to execute it. Your words have 
brought it fresh to my memory, reminding me of an 
unwelcome obligation. Though I may regret the 
course I feel compelled to pursue, my duty to the 
dead leaves me no alternative.'' 

Yiola did not reply, for her uncle's words were to 
her an enigma. She only looked at him, wondering. 



Tlie Triumph of Love and Faith. 33 

"Let me confess, my dear child/' he continued, 
again taking her hand in his, " that these things of 
which you complain, have a deeper meaning than ap- 
pears ; and it is best that I should now make you ac- 
quainted with my reasons for pursuing such a course. 
Prepare yourself, my child, for the worst ; for what- 
ever happiness the prospect might bring to others, 
to you I perceive, from your manner and language, it 
can only be a source of sorrow/' 

Still Viola was silent ; but her face expressed all 
her wonder, astonishment, and dread of some coming 
evil, she knew not what. 

" Your mother, my dear and only sister," continued 
the hypocritical, scheming villain, sentimentally ; 
" upon her death bed confided you, her only child, to 
my care and protection. Faithfully have I endeavored 
to carry out her wishes, and it now only remains for 
me, disagreeable as the duty may be, to perform, her 
final and most urgent request." 

Torillo paused as if loth to proceed, but in reality 
only to gather his thoughts. Viola never removed 
her eyes from his face, but still continued silent. At 
length he went on with seeming reluctance. 

"In the last hours of her life, Viola, your good 
mother — for she was good" — Torillo looked up rever- 
entially, and a silent tear trickled down the face of 
the young girl — " after afi'ectionately confiding you to 
my care and protection, placed in my hands a package, 

9.* 



34 ^lola Hastings; or, 

at the same time binding me by the most solemn 
obligations of the church, faithfully to carry out the 
directions contained therein. With blind love I 
promised ; and then your good mother breathed her 
last in these arms." 

" And they had sent me from the room, when most 
I should have been there I" cried Viola, in an agony 
of grief ; forgetting all else in the memory of her 
mother's death. " 0, I remember it well !" 

" You were but a child, Viola, and could not have 
done her any good ; while the sight of you might 
have rendered her dying hour more painful," re- 
sponded Torillo ; and at the same time he mentally 
thanked his own good fortune that it had not occurred 
otherwise. 

" Still it was none the less hard, nor is the memory 
of it any the less painful," sobbed Viola. " But go 
on, uncle." 

" Until lately I have not thought it necessary, my 
dear child," continued her uncle, very kindly, " to im- 
part to you the fact that your poor dead mother had 
bequeathed you to the service of the Holy Church." 

The effect upon Viola of this communication was 
instantaneous ; and she uttered a suppressed and 
painful scream. 

" No, no, uncle, you jest with me !" she exclaimed, 
with startling rapidity. 

*^For your sake, my dear child, considering the 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 35 

state of your feelings, would it were so," responded 
Torillo. And then after an apparently thoughtful 
pause, he resumed ; — " and yet I cannot exactly see, 
why that to one born and educated as you have been, 
the thought should be so very distressing ! — What 
better destiny can any of usjaope for, than to be good 
and faithful followers of the Blessed Virgin !" 

^^ uncle, don^t talk so," murmured Viola in agoni- 
zing tones. ^^ But did my mother really consign me 
to such a destiny ?" 

" Can you doubt my word, my child ?" 

" No, no, uncle ; but it seems too dreadful for be- 
lief!" responded Viola, in a bewildered manner. 

^* My dear child, listen to me," said Torillo, bending 
an affectionate look upon her. " With such feelings 
it may be very hard to you ; and yet I cannot but 
counsel you to heed your dying mother's word. And 
that they were such you shall yourself judge. The 
package of which I have spoken comprised two let- 
ters — the first was directed to me, the other to vour- 
self. I need scarcely repeat the contents of mine ; 
and yet, probably, it would be better. Your mother 
spoke of her undying love for the Holy Church — of 
her many hopes for you, and of her earnest wish that 
you should consecrate yourself, heart, soul, body, life 
and fortune, to the service of that religion in which 
she had lived, and in which she should die. The ful- 
fillment of that wish she solemnly left to me, charging 



36 Viola Hastings; or, 

me so to educate and temper your mind as to with- 
draw your desires from the things of this earth, to 
the higher hopes of heaven. And, Viola, I have 
sought to carry out her wishes to the letter. If I 
have failed, I can lay my hand upon my heart and de- 
clare that it is no fault •f mine. The resjconsihilify 
must rest elseivhere,^^ 

Torillo strongly aspirated the concluding sentence, 
leaving Viola no room to misunderstand the tenor of 
his allusion. 

"I know it! I feel it!" she murmured mentally. 
" Upon my own soul, only, must rest the responsibil- 
ity of foregoing my mother^s wish. ! just Heaven, 
is there anything but submission left me ?" 

Her uncle watched the play of her features intently, 
and the quiet smile that rested upon his thin lips, 
told of some inward satisfaction. Doubtless he 
thought the character of her emotion favorable to his 
designs. 

A few moments passed away in silence, and then 
Torillo continued : 

" The letter directed to yourself, my child, shall be 
forwarded to you immediately on my return home. 
Of its contents I am ignorant, it being sealed." 

With her pale face now buried in her little white 
hands, Viola was w^eeping bitterly, and the tears 
rained down her cheeks like a tempest. Her uncle 
looked on rather pleased than otherwise with her 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 37 

emotion, for he fancied it an evidence of the power 
which her mother^s words would exercise upon her 
mind. 

" 0, uncle, it may be wrong,'' she at length broke 
forth, and in the most passionate manner, " it may be 
an offence against high heaven and ray mother's mem- 
ory, but I cannot regard such an event Avith any other 
than the most agonizing feelings. Life is sweet, and 
the world beautiful, to all ; but more especially to 
one, who, like myself, is standing only on its thresh- 
old. And though, while living, I loved my mother 
dearly, and now that she is dead, revere her memory 
sacredly, I cannot but think that in this she permitted 
her religious zeal to outweigh her love, and kindness, 
and justice." 

" Still, my dear child, though it may even be as you 
say, a dying mother's last and solemn wash should be 
held sacred. It is the duty of the child to comply 
with, not arraign, a parent's commands." 

" I know it, uncle, I know it !" responded Viola, 
" but when those commands interfere with the pros- 
perity and happiness of the child, there is some doubt 
as to the propriety of, and the obligation to, obey 
them." 

This self-reliant and independent reasoning dis- 
pleased, and discouraged Torillo. He frowned dark- 
ly, and hit heavy eyebrows lowered so as almost to 



38 Viola Hastings; or^ 

conceal the orbs beneath. In a moment, however, 
and before it was observed, the look had vanished. 

" And yet," continued Viola, her thoughts going 
back to the days of her childhood — *^ it is hard, it is 
painful, to turn from the wishes of a parent — to pur- 
sue a course contrary to that which they have fondly, 
though, perhaps, misjudgingly, marked out for us." 

Her uncle's face grew brighter and brighter with 
every word. 

** But, 0, uncle," she still continued, " against this 
all my thoughts, desires, and inclinations powerfully 
rebel. And must I, to obey my mother, perjure my- 
self, by taking upon me vows, which in the making I 
know to be false ? It is in the spirit more than in 
the letter that every obligation of life is rightly and 
truly performed ; and in submitting myself to such a 
destiny, with my present feelings, uncle, I should 
offer myself an unwilling sacrifice at the altar of filial 
duty." 

'' But, dear child," said her uncle, softly, ^' your 
present feelings may undergo a change — icill^ if you 
but strive. As a parent I must still advise you, at 
least, to endeavor to bring your mind to obey your 
mother's last injunction. She was older, and wiser, 
and better qualified to judge of what would be good 
for your happiness than you are yourself. And, Viola, 
there may come a day when you will thank me for 
this advice. You may not think so now, but such an 



The rriumph of Love and Faith. 39 

act of disobedience would embitter all your future 
days;^ 

" 0, uncle, I know not what to say or how to act !^' 
responded Yiola, distractedly. " I cannot, cannot 
consent thus to bury myself for all time — thus to shut 
myself out forever from the bright and beautiful 
world ; and yet my mother^s words seem too sacred 
to be entirely cast aside. 0, was ever a poor maid 
placed in such a situation ! What, what shall I do V^ 

" My dear child, I must confess that your repug- 
nance to this honorable institution of the Church 
astonishes me ; and creates in my mind a suspicion 
which I feign would not harbor. And yet it cannot 
be, Viola " and the tones of Torillo's voice be- 
spoke more of sorrow than of anger — '^ it cannot be 
that you have forsaken the religion of the Holy 
Church — the faith of all your family !'' 

There was a pause, and to Viola an embarrassing 
one. That her mind was really swerving she well 
knew ; and feeling a repugnance to utter a deliberate 
falsehood, she was at a loss what answer to make. 
And to confess her feelings to her uncle, situated as 
she was, was more than she dare do. 

Her silence seemed to confirm Torillo^s suspicion — 
for .he really had begun to entertain the thought he 
expressed — and for the first time he somewhat forgot 
the part he was playing. 

" And is it really so !'* he exclaimed, angrily. "By 



40 Viola Hastings ; or, 

what devilish agency has this accursed heresy been 
accomplished ?'' 

" Stop, uncle !" cried Viola, suddenly interrupting 
him. " Your violence will overpower me ; for al- 
ready my strength has been too greatly tasked. If 
I answered you not immediately, it was because my 
thoughts were too greatly confused — nothing more. 
So many things at times bewilder my poor brain." 

This ambiguous reply mollified Torillo ; and when 
again he addressed the young girl his voice was as 
soft and mild as a woman^s. 

^' I was hasty, my dear child — think not of it," he 
said, after a moment's silence ; concluding, probably, 
that by a display of his disposition he should only 
frighten his niece and overreach his object. " I was 
vexed and disappointed," he added ; " not really an- 
gered, hoAvever. The thought that my sister's child 
— my own niece — should so far forget herself and her 
connections as to turn her back upon the Holy Church, 
and become an apostate to her religion, for the mo- 
ment unbalanced me. Think not of it, dear child. 
It is your welfare— you, whom I love so dearly — that 
renders me so sensitive, and urges me so powerfully 
to exert all my poor, but well meaning influence to 
induce you to accede to your dead mother's last re- 
quest, however your own feelings may now be op- 
posed to such a course. And if you but tJmik favor- 
ably of it — view it in the light in which a good Chris- 



The Triumph of Love arui Faith. 41 

tian, and a faithful daughter should — the sacrifice will 
become rather a pleasure than a pain." 

" Uncle, in my religion, and my duty, as in every- 
thing else, I shall always, I hope, endeavor to do 
what is right," responded the young girl, more calm- 
ly, but still with a very unsettled manner. 

" I believe you, my dear child,'' rejoined her uncle, 
satisfied with the impression which he fancied he 
had made upon his niece's mind. ^' I fully believe 
you, and therefore I will leave you for the present. 
Think well, think deeply, think fully, of what I have 
communicated, so that when I come again you may 
be prepared to give me your final decision. Pros- 
trate before the Blessed Virgin, seek, day and night, 
a proper condition of mind to consider your dying 
mother's injunction, and what is the best course for 
a loving and filial child to pursue." 

" I will seek to do all that is right and proper, 
uncle," rejoined Viola, absently. 

" I trust so," continued Torillo, pressing a fatherly 
kiss upon the young girl's marble brow. " Your 
mother's letter, of which I have spoken, shall imme- 
diately be placed in your hand. And now, farewell, 
my dear child." 

"Farewell, uncle," responded Viola, burying her 
white face in her trembling hands. 



42 Viola Hastings; or, 



CHAPTER V. 

THE JESUIT REVEALS HIS PLANS TO THE SUPERIOR OF THE CONVENT 

SCHGOLj AND DIRECTS HER HOW TO ACT WITH VIOLA 

DURING THE ENSUING YEAR. 

In another small apartment of the aforesaid Con^ 
vent School, a few minutes subsequent to the inter- 
view just recorded, were seated Torillo, and the fe- 
male previously introduced. 

" Well, what think you ?'' demanded the latter. 

" Think 1" rejoined Torillo, speaking quickly ; 
" why, I think we shall have more trouble than I fan- 
cied, even should we succeed at all." 

"And what did the perverse girl say ?" 

" Many things I Among others she complained of 
too much restraint, and too much talk of Convent 
life." 

" I but followed your instructions." 

" I told her so ; explaining to her that it was only 
for her good. She does not like it, however, and we 
must change our tactics. The girl is observing, and 
clear-headed, for one of her years. We must pursue 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 43 

another course ; or rather let the seed which I have 
planted take root and bloom without restraint." 

" What do you mean ?" 

" This I Yiola has a horror of the Convent which 
it will be hard to eradicate. For one so young, and 
one brought up as she has been, I did not expect 
quite so great a show of antipathy — but nevertheless 
her aversion appears almost unconquerable. Besides 
that, too — though I do not think she quite under- 
stands it herself yet — she wavers somewhat in her 
duty to the Church." 

"An apostate I" ejaculated the pious Superior, in- 
dignantly. 

" Not quite ; but yet I think tending that way," 
rejoined Torillo. "And that makes my course a duty 
as a" — he hesitated a little as if in want of a word, 
but finally added — " convenience. Any show of apos- 
tacy" — ^he continued — " must be crushed out, if life 
be crushed out with it. "With our devotion to the 
Church, no other consideration must ever interfere ; 
but in this case I can combine my duty to the Church, 
with my personal interests, and make of it a common 
cause." 

There was a momentary pause, and then Torillo 
went on — 

"And, as I have told you before, if my object can 
be accomplished otherwise, I would rather not resort 
to violence." 



44 Viola Hastings; or^ 



*^And if it cannot?" returned the female, inquir- 
ingly. 

" Leave the rest to me," rejoined Torillo, with a 
peculiar look. " Where there's a will there's a way ; 
and ^ the end justifies the means'^ in and out of the 
Church." 

There Was another pause of a few seconds, when 
Torillo resumed* his remarks. 

*^ As I was saying," he continued, " Viola revolts 
at the idea of a Convent. Even when I told her that 
it was her dying mother's wish, she plead and argued 
against it. Nor could all my logic produce more than 
a feeling of indecision. The story took her by sur- 
prise, and amazed, and grieved her, immeasurably. 
I left her weighed down by a conflict of contending 
emotions. The thought that it was her mother's last 
and most urgent request, however — which idea I 
pushed home, hard — made some impression, I think, 
upon her mind. Our best plan now, is, to let it 
work for awhile." 

" And did she not suspect, think you ?" 

" No ! What reason could she have for suspicion ? 
I have ever been kind and friendly towards her — 
why then should she think that I would deceive her? 
Besides, I clinched the story very effectually by 
telling her of two letters, which I declared her dying 
mother had left in my care. One of them, I said, 
was directed to mvself. and contained the Dartimlnrc 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 45 

of what I had just communicated to her — while the 
other was sealed and directed to her. The latter I 
promised to forward to her immediately. '^ 

''A very pretty story," remarked the Superior, 
evidently pleased with the cunning that had been 
displayed. But the letter — " 

" Shall be forthcoming as soon as promi*sed," said 
Torillo, finishing the sentence. " I can imitate my 
sister's style and chirography admirably, and I will 
indite a communication in accordance with the story 
I have invented, as soon as I get home. You will 
then see that it is placed in her hands.'' 

"Certainly!" 

" My niece w^ill remain with you another year, at 
the expiration of which time I hope to see my plans 
successful." 

"And what course shall I now pursue ?" demanded 
the Superior. 

" This ! Watch the girl with the eye of an argus, 
but let it be done in such a manner as not to alarm 
her. Let her feel that she is unrestrained, though 
your vigilance be trebled. Drop all conversation 
that may fret or worry her. She will not, however, 
. suspect any collusion between us ; and if, at any 
time, you can indirectly do or say anything that will 
help my plan — that is, anything that ^\ill not appear 
aimed at her expressly — why, profit by the occasion. 



46 Viola Hastings; or, 

But be guarded ! Better, too, leave her alone with 
her own thoughts as much as possible." 

" I will do my best.'' 

" Do that, and I am satisfied. In the end we shall 
then succeed, and through our success we shall, toge- 
ther, bring a backsliding servant to the feet of the 
Holy Church, while I individually, shall gain — " 

*^ Wealth," broke in the woman, smiling. 

" And you," continued Torillo, returning her smile. 

" The satisfaction of doing my duty, and helping — " 

" A friend," said Viola's uncle, concluding th6 sen- 
tence. 

Then Torillo went his way, and his female coadju- 
tor returned to her duties in the school. 

Think you, my reader, that such women — and this 
one was but the type of many — are fitting persons to 
whom to intrust the education of the youthful mind? 



The Triumph of Love ind Faith. 47 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE FORGED LETTER AGAIN. — VIOLa's GRIEF. 

We left Yiola, as her uncle had truly informed the 
Superior, bowed down with grief and sorrow. For a 
long time after Torillo^s departure she could do 
nothing but weep, and her emotion was of the deep- 
est and most powerful character. It seemed to rend 
her very heart. Her ardent, hopeful, imagina- 
tive nature, notwithstanding her Papish education 
and associations, revolted at the thought of burying 
herself in such a living tomb as a Convent. But, in 
the midst of these thoughts would come crushing 
back upon her heart, her dying mother's wish, in that 
moment, seemingly too sacred, too holy, to be neg- 
lected or cast aside. And then she would weep 
again, and her heart would be rent by the fierce 
struggle which duty and inclination were waging. 

After some time the Superior went to the young 
girl, and without commenting at all upon the condi- 
tion in which she found her, kindly urged her to retire 
to her own domicil. The young girl silently obeyed, 



48 Viola Hastings; yr, 

and when alone gave way again to the struggle which 
was agitating her bosom. 

" 0, mother I dear, dear mother I" she cried, kneel- 
ing down by the side of her little cot ; " could you 
only have kno^vn the misery you were bringing upon 
me, never, never, would you have bound me to such 
a life. You were too kind, too loving, so to embitter 
all my life. 0, what shall I do ? To obey, is to 
destroy all my happiness — to disobey, can but make 
me miserable !'' 

Thus she talked, and wept, until at length she fell 
asleep. Day followed day, and each was like the 
other — to Viola full of misery. The struggle between 
her duty to herself on the one side, and her duty to 
her mother on the other, still ravaged her bosom, and 
as violently as at the first. Each feeling seemed 
determined to hold its own, and between the two 
Viola's anguish was almost insupportable. 

During this time, and throughout the whole of the 
ensuing twelve months, Torillo's directions were reli- 
giously carried out, and the young girl was, appa- 
rently, left to follow the bent of her own inclinations. 
Her studies were made light — her duties nominal. 
No restraint was seemingly exercised, nor was there 
any more extolling, as a general thing, of the blessed 
and desirable life of the cloister. Occasionally the 
Superior would lecture the scholars collectively — and 
among the number were several Protestant girls. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 49 

whose parents were much more foolish than they 
would have liked, doubtless, to have been thought — 
upon the general duties of life, the obedience that under 
all circumstances was due to parents^ the requirements 
of religion, and the peace and repose to be found in the 
bosom of the Holy Church. These lectures were aimed 
by the Superior, as well at the Protestant scholars 
under her charge, as at Viola ; for the servants of 
the " Infallible Church" never neglect an opportunity 
for proselyting. Viola, however — for mth the others 
we have now nothing to do — could not but think, 
from the general character of the lectures, that the 
choosing of the subjects was unintentional, though 
the matter therein bore directly on those points 
which most were agitating her own bosom. 

The fourth day after her uncle's visit Viola received 
the promised letter ; and its contents served but to 
increase the despondency and anguish of her feelings. 
The epistle was artfully worded. It was written by 
one — and who else but Torillo ? — who knew well the 
peculiarities of Viola's mother, and who knew, too, 
that the child was not so young when her mother 
died, but that she, likewise, would remember, and 
expect to see a display of them — and who profited 
well by the knowledge he possessed. In thrilling 
words it described the dangerous temptations of the 
hollow world ; in beautiful language it pictured forth 
the peace and quiet of the cloister ; and in glowing 



50 Viola Hastings; or, 

terms it urged upon Viola, for her dear mother's sake, 
, to embrace the holy calling. Nothing was spared — 
not an argument that could bear upon her feelings 
was overlooked — not a stone, so to speak, was left 
unturned. 

From that hour the young girl was a prey to the 
most desponding feelings ; and in the agony of her 
heart, life almost grew to be distasteful and burthen- 
.some. And that was the very state of mind which 
her artful uncle most desired to produce. Her spirits 
once broken down, he argued — and this continued 
struggle, if it can but be kept up, will eventually 
have that effect — and life would not look so pleasant 
and enticing, nor her mother's request appear so 
dreadful. In that hour she might be prevailed on. 
It was subtile — it was likely to succeed ; but still 
Viola yielded but slowly, like a brave soldier dispu- 
ting the ground inch by inch. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 51 



CHAPTER VII. 

END OF ANOTHER YEAR. — THE JESUIT AGAIN AT THE CONVENT 
SCHOOL. — VIOLA GOES TO MT. CARMEL. 

Thus passed the second year of Viola's scholastic 
life. The young girl was thinner and paler than 
usual, but none the less lovely. With Torillo it had 
passed away in schemes and intrigues, personal and 
otherwise. And during the time, too, he had used 
large sums of money belonging to Yiola, which, as 
the year began to draw to a close, made him still 
more anxious to accomplish his designs upon the 
young girl. 

Again he visited the Convent school — again talked 
over his prospects with the Superior, and had another 
interview with Viola. The same mildness, gentle- 
ness, and kindness characterised his deportment 
toward^ his niece — the same insidious hypocrisy 
marked his every word. And Viola, herself, exhib- 
ited the same distress of mind — the same reluctance 
to comply with her mother's request at the price of 
her own happiness, and yet the same desire to per- 



52 Viola Hastings ; or, 

form all that a dutiful and loving child consistently 
should. Torillo argued — not, he said, that he had any- 
especial interest in doing so, aside from her own wel- 
fare — and Viola wept and pleaded. The poor girFs 
mental agony would have melted any human heart ; 
but, alas I for her, Torillo, figuratively speaking, had 
no heart at all. 

At length he had exhausted all his rhetoric, and 
nearly all his patience. Viola's persevering obsti- 
nacy, as he mentally termed it, was almost too much 
for his naturally violent and impatient nature. 
Finally he proposed to his niece, as a sort of com- 
promise, that she should spend the ensuing year at 
the Convent of Mt. Carmel, in the probationary 
character of a Sister of Mercy — declaring, solemnly, 
that if at the end of that period her prejudices still 
overcame her sense of duty, he would absolve him- 
self from the whole matter, and urge her no further. 

In view of what she supposed to be her dying 
mother's request, and with the full conviction that 
in complying with this suggestion she in no way 
committed herself, nor in any manner bound herself, 
to pursue a course contrary to her wishes, she made 
no objection to this proposition ; and so the matter 
was finally settled. With this understanding the 
young girl retired to her little domicil, there to weep 
and mourn alone ; and her uncle sought again the 
presence of the Superior. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 53 

" Well !" demanded the latter, as Torillo entered 
the receiving-room where she had been awaiting 
him. 

" The bird is snared 1" cried Torillo, exultingly. 

" In what manner ?" 

" This. I have prevailed upon her to pass a pro- 
bationary year at Mt. Carmel. Let her once go 
there^ and the rest, I think, will prove easy.'' 

" Yes ;" responded the Superior. " When shall 
you start ?" 

" Immediately ! See 3^ou that everything requisite 
is made ready. We must reach Mt. Carmel before 
dark." 

Torillo could scarcely conceal his pleasure, so con- 
fident did he now feel of a speedy success ; but the 
ways of Providence are inscrutable, and the very ends 
by which men frequently hope to accomplish their 
purposes, are sometimes turned against them to their 
own discomfiture. So it proved with Viola's schem- 
ing uncle. In his blind anxiety he had not calculated 
all the chances, as wih eoon appear. To do so was 
beyond the range of the human mind. 



54 Fiola Hastings ; or, 



■ CHAPTER YIII. 

VIOLA AT MT. CARMEL. — THE BREAKING OUT OF THE FEVER IN 
THE SOUTH. — VIOLA A NURSE. 

The Convent of Mt. Carmel was situated in a 
beautiful section of the country in the immediate 
vicinity of the city of Baltimore. Thither Viola 
Hastings was conveyed by her uncle. Little passed 
between the two on the road, and a simple farewell 
— ^not in anger, however, nor suspiciously — when 
they parted at the Convent. The heart of the young 
girl was too full for words, and her uncle was per- 
fectly satisfied, so long as his ends were accomplish- 
ed, to remain silent. 

This Convent, we will here state, was as well the 
abiding place of the Sisters of ilercy as the abode 
of Nuns. Here came ignorant, fanatical, and weak- 
minded women to serve a brief probation — longer or 
shorter, as might be thought necessary — ere they 
forever shut themselves out from God's beautiful 
world — from the warm sunshine of the Almighty's 
smile — from sympathy with their fellow-creatures, 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 55 

and from every humanizing influence. Call that, 
who dare, the religion which God, in all his works, 
teaches 1 

The Sisters of Mercy at the Convent of Mt. Carmel 
were entered for a year at a time ; and at the end 
of that period they could either withdraw — so it was 
represented, though with w^hat truth we are not 
prepared to say — renew their vows for another year, 
or take the black vail. Upon their entrance into the 
Convent, each candidate assumed a religious designa- 
tion, which entirely absorbed her own proper name. 
Yiola was given that of Ursula ; and henceforth then, 
for twelve months, at least, she was no longer Viola 
Hastings, but Sister Ursula. 

Some few months after the young girl had been 
entered at the Convent, the fatal fever peculiar to 
the southern latitudes, broke out with most alarming 
violence. All the large cities were almost instan- 
taneously visited by the fearful scourge. Hundreds 
died off daily, and the most unbounded consternation 
prevailed on all sides. Business was almost entirely 
suspended, and the panic-stricken inhabitants fled 
precipitately, hurrying wildly away from the path 
of the irresistible monster, so to speak, and leaving 
but few, in comparison with numbers, to nurse the 
sick, and attend to the dead. 

In this dreadful dilemma all classes of people were 
appealed to for aid, personal and pecuniar3^ It was 



56 Viola Hastings; or, 

a time when to stand back was out of the question. 
The demand of the authorities was imperative, and 
not to be overlooked or pushed aside. 

Many hitherto backward now responded to the 
call. Among the number were the Sisters of Mercy 
of Mt. Carmel. Of the feelings which, as a body, 
influenced them, we will say nothing — our business 
lies especially with Viola, to whom the present con- 
dition 0^ affairs, as time soon developed, opened a 
new era. As a class they may have felt the compul- 
sion of the occasion, or, in exposing themselves, 
sought to win sympathy for the Holy Church. It 
was quite likely to be either, or both of these, as 
anything else. Individually they may have been 
actuated by entirely different feelings. Be that as 
it may — and we leave the reader to draw his own 
conclusions — the Sisters of Mercy, with Viola among 
their number, were soon en route for a point where 
the fever was raging with unexampled fury, and 
where their services, or that of sometody else, were 
most urgently needed. 




V'iohi :ijid her Lowr. 



Patfe 1 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 57 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE FEVER HOSPITAL. — VIOLa's PATIENT. 

In one of the little apartments of a large building 
which had been converted into a temporary hospital, 
during the greatest height of the pestilence, was 
reposing the form of a man ; and bending over his 
body was the graceful figure of Viola Hastings. 

This building — which was large, and well adapted 
to the purpose to which it was now devoted, having 
once been a hotel — was under the especial care of the 
Sisters of Mercy of Mt. Oarmel ; and every room had 
its pestilence stricken patient, and its attendant 
nurse ; the whole being under the supervision of a 
Superior, old, argus-eyed and uncompromising. 

To Viola's care and attention had fallen one whose 
destiny was ever after inseparably linked with her 
own ; and from this moment may be dated the turn- 
ing point in her fate. 

Let us now describe this person ; and then briefly 
review a few subsequent events, materially connected 
with this story, and the fate of Viola, though still not 



58 Viola Hastings; or^ 

of that interest to the reader, probably, as to warrant 
us in entering into any very lengthy description. It 
will be seen in what follows how Torillo overreached 
his own cunning in sending Viola to Mt. Carmel ; or, 
rather, how an All-wise Providence interfered to 
frustrate his designs. 

Kenneth Egerton — Viola's patient — was of pure 
American blood. For generations back all his ances- 
tors had been American Protestants, and through 
them he had early imbibed an unconquerable dislike 
— and in after years his maturer judgment confirmed 
his youthful impressions — for every thing appertain- 
ing to Roman Catholicism. Though not a professing 
Christian, as the world goes, a stauncher opponent 
of illiberal, bigoted Romanism, no where existed. He 
was one of those who believed the Papish Church to 
be dangerous to our Republican institutions, and to 
our Protestant religion ; — dangerous, in the power 
and unscrupulousness of her priests — in the darkness, 
and bigotry, and superstition, of her followers — in her 
greedy thirst for temporal power, and above all, in 
the consolidation of all her elements.* 

* G. P. R. James in his romance of" Heidelberg^^ puts into the mouth otone 
of his characters some remarks upon this point, which are as applicable now 
and here, as they were then and there. They are as follows : — 

" This is in truth, a struggle betwixt the Protestants and Papists of Germany. 
Now, there is something in the very nature of the two religions which gives 
disunion to the one, consolidation to the other. The Papists are all agreed on 
every essential pomt, they are all tutored in the same, school, look to the same 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 59 

In years he counted about twenty-three, and in per- 
sonal appearance, when in a state of health, he was 
manly, prepossessing, even handsome. And the very 
soul of honor, he was always open, brave, and straight- 
forward. What higher compliment can we pay him, 
morally or physically ? 

Through the influence of some powerful friends, 
whom his many fine qualities had early won to his 
interest — his own immediate family being reduced in 
numbers and position, and both his parents being 
dead — he had been appointed a midshipman in the 
navy, and about the time of our first acquaintance 
with him he had risen to a lieutenancy. Happening 

in the city of W , when the fever broke out, and 

scorning to desert those to whom his services might 
prove so invaluable, he soon fell a victim to the gen- 
erosity of his feelings, and in turn was prostrated by 
the uncompromising disease. 

From the very first moment when Yiola bent over 
the fever-stricken young man, her feelings had been 

objects, have in the most important matters the same interests. The least 
attack upon their religion is a rallying cry for them all ; their will bends to its 
dictates, their banners unfurl at its call, their swords spring forth in its defence. 
They are one nation, one tribe, by a stronger tie than common country or com- 
mon origin. They are one in religion, and the religion is one. But what is the 
case with the Protestants 7 Split into sects, divided into parties, recognizing no 
authority but their own individual judgments, they hate each other, with a hatred 
perhaps stronger than that which they feel towards the Romanists ; or are cold 
to each other, which is worse. No, no, the whole tendencies of one party aro 
to division, the whole tendencies of the other to union, and union is strength.* 



60 Viola Hastings; 01% 

powerfully and entirely enlisted in his behalf ; and 
her attendance at his bedside soon grew to be a plea- 
sure, notwithstanding the terror which surrounded 
her, and the danger in Avhich she stood. In truth, 
these latter thoughts scarcely occupied her mind at 
all, so entirely was she absorbed in anxiety for her 
poor patient. Under any, and all circumstances, she 
was one of the few of that class with which she was 
associated, who would have performed their duty to 
suffering humanity, whatever its creed, willingly and 
unselfishly. 

Thus passed many long, tedious, weary days, and 
at length Kenneth Egerton began to show signs of 
returning health. He had battled with the fierce 
monster and conquered. 

The first object that his eyes encountered upon 
awaking to consciousness, was the sweet, gentle, 
beautiful face of Viola — beautiful, notwithstanding 
the disfigurement which it underwent from the 
ghostly peculiarity of her dress. Shading his eyes 
with his thin and still trembling hand, he gazed long 
and fixedly at the lovely and now blushing girl. 

" What beautiful vision is this T^ he at length mur- 
mured, as if communing with himself. 

Now, had Viola been at all like many of her com- 
panions, she would have uttered some pious exclama- 
tion, and incontinently fled from the presence of the 
enraptured youth. But, being of a different mould, 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 61 

and having different thoughts and feelings, she 
remained where she was, and replied very sweetly, 

" Only your nurse, sir. I am very glad that you 
are so much better !" 

"Are you, indeed?^' inquired Kenneth, anxious to 
hear again the tones of that softly musical voice. 

" 0, yes I^' responded Viola, and with such a smile 
as can only spring from the depths of a fond, and 
true, and tender heart. 



62 Viola Hastings; or, 



CHAPTER X. 

VIOLA AND HER LOVER. — THE SPY. — THE SUMMONS. — THE WATCH. 

VIOLA SENT BACK TO MT. CAR MEL. 

From that hour Kenneth Egerton rapidly grew 
better — as rapidly, at least, as was at all possible 
under the circumstances. And still his gentle nurse 
hovered by his bedside, smoothing his pillow, and, 
by an hundred little attentions, lightening the days 
of his convalescence. Another power — why linger 
on so palpable a fact? — more potential than even 
duty, now swayed her heart — love. And the same 
ungovernable and overmastering feeling which had 
driven from her soul every other thought — almost 
every other consideration — had also taken undisputed 
and peremptory possession of the bosom of Kenneth. 

Nor was it long before he and Viola had an expla- 
nation and an understanding. Before the time came 
round when it would have been necessary for the 
young girl to have given her attention elsewhere, 
there were no secrets between her and her patient. 
Each knew the other's whole history ; and the indis- 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 63 

soluble Fond of mutual love united them together 
for ever and ever. This may seem sudden — and, un- 
questionably, so it was — but in their case none the 
less deep and lasting, as the eventful future proved. 

The circumstances which surrounded Kenneth 
could not do otherwise than occasionally lead him to 
speak of Romanism ; and, while he thanked Viola for 
her kindness to himself during his sickness, he yet 
freely expressed his abhorrence of her creed and her 
associations. But though he inveighed strongly 
against Roman Catholicism, in his liberality he ad- 
mitted that there might be individual exceptions in 
it, as there were in everything else. 

" In truth, Viola," he said, one evening — " there 
micst be ^me exceptions, for you, yourself, are one — 
a bright and enduring exception. And yet it is not 
to such as you, my dear girl, that I refer when I de- 
nounce Romanists — it is to that great mass of blind, 
bigoted, intolerant, scheming men and women, who 
acknowledge no law, no religion, no good outside the 
limits of the Holy Church." 

Thus talked Kenneth ; and Viola listened to him, 
first for the love she bore himself, and then for the 
truth which her own heart soon whispered her that 
he uttered. Nor did the ardent and hopeful young 
man stop there. And what else did he hope for? 
you doubtless ask. Why, that as he had won the 
young girFs affections, he might also win her mind 



64 Viola Hastings; or, 

from the darkness of Romanism. With an eloquence 
which only the deepest love could have inspired, he 
argued against the unnatural request of her mother — 
declared that both God and man would absolve a 
child from the fulfillment of such an obligation — that 
it was against all nature — contrary to true religion — • 
opposed to happiness, and everything that made life 
desirable or worth possessing. 

Then he drew a vivid picture of Romanism as it 
had been and as it was ; and as the burning words 
fell from his eloquent tongue, Viola shuddered and 
turned pale. And then again he contrasted its past 
and present history, with the history of that religion 
which the Man Jesus had taught, and which is daily 
and hourly exhibited in all the innumerable works 
of God ; and the young girPs heart thrilled with the 
blackness and the terror of the one, and the bright- 
ness and peace of the other. Thus Kenneth Egerton 
strengthened and confirmed those feelings which had^ 
already unconsciously taken root in Viola^s heart — 
thus he completed what her own good and true na- 
ture had been for some time striving to work out. 

^' Ah, Kenneth, my own heart responds to all yon 
say,'' was Viola's reply, when at length her new-found 
friend and lover paused. ^' Long ago did my heart 
turn to something brighter, and better, and purer 
than this creed of my fathers. All along I have felt 
that it lacked something — that it wanted the holy, 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 65 



all-pervading spirit of true religion. But how can I 
escape ? My uncle will never let me marry a here- 
tic, even if I could make up my mind to disregard 
my poor, dead mother's wish. And yet to me a Con- 
vent life has always seemed very terrible — morally, 
physically, and intellectually. 0, what shall I do ? 
what shall I do ?'' and poor Viola wrung her little 
hands in agony. 

" Put your trust in God, Viola, and follow the dic- 
tates of your own good heart,'' rejoined Kenneth, 
earnestly, " and for human aid rely upon my counsel 
and protection. With the Almighty's help I will yet, 
at some not very distant day, extricate you from all. 
But you must get me well, soon ; and strong, too," he 
added, cheerfully and encouragingly. 

" I will try, hard, very hard, Kenneth," responded 
the young girl, softly ; " putting my trust for all 
things, your health and my safety, in Him who is all- 
powerful to aid and protect." 

" — sh!" exclaimed Kenneth, suddenly fixing his 
eyes upon the door, which was at the other end of 
the room, and lifting his finger to admonish Viola to 
silence. 

A painful stillness fell upon the little room. The 
twilight of the evening had passed away, and dark- 
ness was beginning to mantle the earth with its 
sombre covering. In the apartment things were be- 
ginning to grow indistinct ; and through the little 



66 Viola Hastings ; or^ ' 

window at the top of the room, the golden stars were 
beginning to shine brightly — for God granted the 
sun, and the moon, and the stars to the fever-stricken 
as well as to others. Kenneth had arisen to his 
elbow, and Viola stood in an attitude of keen atten- 
tion. Immediately after the young man^s caution, 
the pit-a-pat of muffled feet descending the stairs, 
was quite audible. 

" Quick !" whispered Kenneth, pointing to the 
door. ^^Look!" 

The young girl sprang quickly to the door, but 
she could neither see nor hear anything. 

" Nobody there, Kenneth !" she whispered, return- 
ing to the bedside. 

*'And yet I am sure I heard some one," rejoined 
Kenneth, in a very low key. " Did not you, Viola?" 

" Yes," responded the young girl, trembling with 
alarm. " I have overstaid the hour, Kenneth — see, 
'tis quite dark ! — and have been watched." 

" Doubtless overheard, too," said Kenneth, in a 
vexed and disappointed tone. '^ How unfortunate at 
the present time, and under the present circum- 
stances. If I were only able to get i?ut, now, all 
would be well. But, perhaps, they did not hear 
much, and all may yet be well. We must perforce 
wait and see. But should they have chanced to 
overhear all, Viola, what course do you think they 
will pursue ?" 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 67 

" 0, Kenneth, I can scarcely guess, but it will be 
one to separate us," murmured Viola, in an agony, as 
she sank down upon her knees by the side of the bed. 
" But whatever may happen, please, Kenneth, don^t 
think me unmaidenly in so soon, and confidingly, 
trusting to a stranger's words." 

" Never, never, Viola !" responded Kenneth, earn- 
estly, as he clasped the young girFs head to his bo- 
som. *' In trusting that stranger, dear girl, you have 
placed your faith in one who honors you as he would 
his own mother were she living, and loves you better 
than any other earthly being." 

At that moment there was a light knock upon the 
door. Both Kenneth and Viola started quickly. 
The approach of the person outside, whoever it 
might be, had been so quiet as to be unobserved by 
either of them. 

A few moments of silence, only, had elapsed, when 
the knock was repeated, and this time a little louder 
than at the first. 

" Viola, bid them enter," whispered Kenneth, lay- 
ing himself back, and drawing up the bei-clothes so 
as to conceal, in part, his face. " It is best, under 
the circumstances, for you to speak." 

" Come in, whoever knocks," said the young girl, 
in low and tremulous tones, for her heart was filled 
with the presentiment of coming evil. 

The words had barely passed her lips, when one of 



68 Viola Hastings ; or, 

the Sisters, quietly, and with a cat-like movement, 
entered the apartment. Stationing herself just in- 
side of the door, she appeared to wait to be addressed. 
A moment of silence ensued, when Viola found 
courage to ask — 

" What does Sister Theresa desire ?" 

" The worthy Superior would speak with Sister 
Ursula," responded the intruder, never lifting her 
downcast eyes. 

" I will come to her immediately/' rejoined Yiola, 
with a sinking heart. 

But the Sister did not move. 

" I will come to her immediately, I say, Sister 
Theresa," repeated Viola, anxious to have a parting 
word — for she intuitively felt that they were about 
to part — with the being who had so suddenly and 
irrevocably won her heart. 

^^ Our worthy Superior bade me co7iduct you to her 
presence," responded Sister Theresa, laying marked 
emphasis on the word " conduct." 

Viola felt that there was no alternative, and so 
prepared to quit the apartment. To speak with 
Kenneth was now out of the question. Before start- 
ing, however, she turned her face towards the cot. 
Her eyes, in that moment, encountered the young 
man's ardent gaze, and his expressive look said plain- 
ly — " hope !" Stealthily grasping her hand in his, 



The Triumph of Love and Faii'i. 69 



Kenneth pressed it earnestly ; and then Viola fol- 
lowed her companion from the room. 

Yes, Viola, hope ! — though thy path is dark, and 
thy sky betokens a storm, still " hope/' Be thy 
prayer the same as that of one now dead and gone : — 

" Sweet day-star of the heart ! thou light divine !. 

Immortal Hope ! be thou forever mine !" 

Jos. H. Butler. 

* -X- ^ -X- -Jf -Jf 

In one of the rooms of that portion of the building 
occupied by the Sisters of Mercy, sat the Superior, 
stiff, stern, severe. Without a word of explanation 
— without the slightest reference to any knowledge 
which she had so surreptitiously obtained, she said 
to Viola, as the young girl timidly entered the apart- 
ment : — 

" Sister Ursula, this close attention upon the sick 
is not good for you, and will affect your health. I 
see it now ; and as I can dispense with your services 
— the fever being on the decrease — ^you will be glad 
to know that I have decided upon sending you back 
to the Convent, immediately ! Sister Theresa, and 
Sister Frances, will accompany you." 

Viola understood it all, and knew it would be use- 
less to murmur or object. That her position with 
Kenneth had been detected, she felt satisfied. 

" You will sleep with me to-night. Sister Ursula, so 
that you may be prepared for an early start in the 



70 Viola Hastings; or, 

morning," continued the Superior, who was deter- 
mined not to let the young girl out of her sight, even 
for a moment. Then turning to Sister Theresa, she 
said — " Summon the Sisters for vespers." 

All that night Yiola was closely watched, and the 
following morning, accompanied by the two Sisters 
delegated for the duty, she departed on her journey ; 
but not, as will hereafter be shown, entirely without 
hope. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 71 



CHAPTER XI. 

iiNNETH'S NEW NURSE. — THE DISCOVERY. — THE COUNTERPLOT. 

Instead, however, of at once following the course 
of the young girl, we will for the present remain at 
the hospital, and acquaint ourselves with w^hat is 
transpiring there. And to understand the particulars 
fully we will go back to the night previous. 

As Yiola disappeared from the little apartment 
occupied by Kenneth, the youth pressed his hand to 
his forehead and murmured, sadly, — 

" Gone ! How dull and dark the place seems with- 
out her, and how bright and pleasant when she is 
here ! Who would imagine that I should so miss her? 
How strange and sudden is often the workings of the 
heart ! -Ah ! w^ould that she could remain forever by 
my side !^' 

Better than life did he already love the young girl j 
for in that hour it indeed seemed to him, that 

" life without her smile would be, 

Like earth without a flower." Jos. H. Butler. 

For long hours Kenneth— heedless of every want — 



72 Viola Hastings ; or, 

lay upon his back thinking of Viola ; of the singu- 
larity of their acquaintance ; of the depth of his own 
love ; of the young girl's position ; and of what 
course was best for him, under the circumstances, to 
pursue. 

That he would have strong, cunning, artful opposi- 
tion to contend with, he had too much good sense, 
ind too intimate a knowledge of the character of 
Jesuitical Romanism to doubt. But he was brave, 
and when conscious that he was right, as mature 
deliberation convinced him he was in regard to Viola, 
he was unyielding. 

Thus the evening passed away ; and at length Ken- 
neth began to grow nervously anxious ; not for him- 
self, but for the being into whose society he had been 
60 strangely thrown. 

It had hitherto been Viola's custom to visit him 
two or three times after dark, and now she had not 
come once. True, he was fast growing better ; but 
what duty had at first demanded, love afterwards, in 
the one case, insisted upon, and in the other, prompted 
to. And therefore on this night he was quick to miss 
her attendance, and wondered at it. 

" Can they really have discovered us, and prevented 
her coming here ?" he murmured, to himself ; and 
with the excitement of the thought he even made an 
effort to rise ; but finding himself still too weak for 
such exertion, he sank back again upon the pillow. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 73 

Shortly after that a negro man, with a lighted can- 
dle in one hand and a tray of refreshments in the 
other, entered the apartment. Kenneth felt aston- 
ished, grieved, and vexed, at the change which he 
quickly comprehended. His worst suspicions, he 
thought to himself, were then correct. 

"Who are you?" he demanded, abruptly and 
angrily ; for, being but human, he found it impossible 
to repress his feelings entirely. 

" Who is I, marster I" responded the negro, at the 
same time busying himself in arranging what things 
he thought were out of place around the room. " Dat 
am a 'kestion to ax ! I'se a nigga, dat am a fac^ ; a 
poo' mis'ble nigga. Dat's so, marster !" 

'' Well, but what's your name ?"' 

" 0, what dey call me 1 Well, I'se comly called 
Sip ; sumtimes ole marster — 'specially jest arter 
dinna — call me, Scipio ; an' sumtimes missus — who's 
berry perlite — she call me, Scipio Africanus. Fac', 
marster." 

" That name and that voice ! It must be the same, 
though by this indistinct light I cannot say for cer- 
tain. I'll question him. If it turns out to be Rob- 
son's man, it will be very fortunate." 

Thus Kenneth mused. Then addressing the negro, 
he inquired, — 
* " My man, who do you belong to ?" 



74 ^lola Hastings ; or, 

"■ ^Long to ! Why, ole Marster Robson, ohu ! He's 
dun gone away norf, doe, till Yaller Jack leab." 

" I thought I could not be mistaken," murmured 
Kenneth. " Here, my man," he continued, aloud, 
*' don^t you know me ?" 

" Well, I dunno 'zactly," responded the negro, 
dubiously. " Yaller Jack change de folks so funnilly, 
berry hard to 'nize 'em." 

" Well, bring the light and come here and look at 
me," said Kenneth. \ 

The negro instantly complied ; and the moment his 
eyes rested upon the face of Kenneth, his dingy 
countenance lighted up. 

" Well, dar !" he exclaimed, raising up his hands in 
wonder. " Am dat you, Marster Egaton ?" 

^^ The same, Scipio, though not quite so fresh and 
strong as when you last saw me." 

" Well, who'd a fought dat you was in dis yere 
house ! Ef I'd a only know'd it, Marster Egaton, I'd 
a bin here afore. Cat's so, now !" 

*' I don't doubt it, Scipio. But now^ tell me, what 
are you doing here?" 

" Well, I'se a nuss. Dat is, I tends to de patients 
when dey am gettin' better, so dat de wimmin folks 
kin tend to de wusser ones. Marster,. you see, he 
hired me to de 'forities ; but I dun like de job, doe, 
mu3h. Dat's so, marster Egaton." 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 75 

" And you have now been sent here to wait upon 
me r 

*' Dat's so, too, Marster Egaton. An' de high 
golly ! but Tse glad ob it, bein' dat it's you." 

** I believe you, Scipio." 

Now Kenneth could not but think — and he fancied 
he had very good reasons for doing so — that other 
causes besides his apparent convalescence had indu- 
ced the withdrawal of Viola ; and he determined, if 
possible, to find them out. Scipio was the property 
of one of his oldest friends — a man, kind and indul- 
gent in some respects ; passionate, hasty, and tyran- 
nical in others — and having frequently saved the 
negro from the lash, he felt he could safely trust to 
his gratitude. 

" Scipio, I want to have a little talk w^ith you," he 
said, addressing the negro, after a pause of a few 
moments, which he had occupied in the reflections 
just recorded. 

*' I'se all 'tention, Marster Egaton," rejoined the 
black, with every evidence of high satisfaction. 

" First see that yonder door is closed tight, and 
then stuff something in the key-hole." 

The negro opened his great eyes with wonder, but 
unhesitatingly did as he was directed. 

*' The nurses in this house, I am afraid, have a 
strange propensity for listening," remarked Kenneth, 
,in explanation. 



76 Viola Hastings; or^ 



" Dat's so !" responded the negro, clapping the fore- 
jBnger of his left hand against the side of his nose, 
and gazing into Kenneth^s face TVith a knowing ex- 
pression. 

*' I thought as much," rejoined the young man. 
*^ And now, Scipio, listen to me. I have a little busi- 
ness that I want you to attend to, and if you faith- 
fully carry out my directions, you shall be liberally 
rewarded." 

"Nebbermind de Vard, Marster Egaton. Til do 
it for yourself widout any Vard. Dat's so, now I" 

" Well, can you keep a secret ?" 

" Fo' shu I can, Marster Egaton." 

" And will you be very faithful to my interests ?" 

" Marster, Tse only a mis'ble niggar, I know ; but 
de high golly, niggar or no niggar, I know who'se dis 
chile's friends. Cat's so, mine now 1" 

" I don't doubt it, Scipio," rejoined Kenneth, con- 
fidently. " And now tell me, do you know which 
Sister waited on me during my illness ?" 

" Not 'zactly, marster ; kase, you see, dare am so 
many sick folks in dis house, an' so many nusses, dat 
I didn't pay ticklar 'tention." 

*' She was called Sister Ursula," pursued Kenneth. 
" Do you know her ?" 

'' Not 'zactly, Marster Egaton." 

" Can you find her out ?" 

" Fo' shu I can." 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 77 

" Do so, then," continued Kenneth. " And when 
you have accomplished that, endeavor to find an op- 
portunity to speak with her. Tell her then that you 
come from me, and she will know what reply to make 
you. But you must be very secret, Scipio, very.'' 

" Trus' dis chile, Marster Egaton." 

" I will, Scipio, for I know you to be both honest 
and quick-witted." 

**I'se honest, Marster Egaton, dat's sartin," rejoin- 
ed the negro. " But here am your supper. Eat 
sumfin', now, so dat you git strong." 

" Rather a late hour for supper, Scipio," remarked 
Kenneth. 

" Dat's so, Marster Egaton ; an' I don't 'zactly 
'stand why you didn't get it afore. But, howsomd- 
ever, marster, it's better late dan nebber." 

Scipio had now arranged the edibles before Ken- 
neth, and the youth fell to with an avidity that caused 
the negro to cry out with astonishment — 

" De high golly, Marster Egaton, you soon git out 
o' dis yere ! Cat's a fac !" 

The meal finished, Scipio, with another caution as 
to the course he was to pursue, took up the things and 
quitted the apartment ; and Kenneth, notwithstand- 
ing the excited condition of hismind, soon sank into 
a heavy slumber. 

Towards midnight he was aroused from his sleep 



78 r7o/a Hastings; or, 

by some one shaking him. Upon opening his eyes 
he beheld the negro standing over him. 

" Well, Scipio, have you seen her ?" he eagerly de- 
manded, when sufficiently awake to collect his facul- 
ties. 

^' Xot by 'siderable, marster ! De ole ^oman tuk her 
under her 'special car, an^ I know'd twar^ent no use 
to try whatsomdever. Vve seen 'siderable of dese 
y^re funnelly queer wimmin, an' I know'd dat de 
game was up in dat quarter. So I jist went waystin' 
roun' de house, tinkin' dat maybe I'd oberhar sumfin'. 
Shu enough, Marster Egaton, I did." 

" And what was it, Scipio ?'' demanded Kenneth, 
excitedly. *' Speak quickly, for I am all on the rack." 

*' I well, Marster Egaton. Up dar," — the negro 
pointed overhead — '' dere's a man what's jis come in, 
an' Jack's got him tight. Two o' dese yere nusses 
am in he room. I heerd dem whisperin', buz, buz, 
buz, so I jist fought I'd stop an' listen to de key-hole. 
Ebberyting was still, but sumhow I couldn't make 
out much, no how : but I heerd dem talkin' sumfin' 
'bout de heritic, an' 'bout Sister Usuler, an' 'bout 
sumbody's gwain away to-morrow mornin' ; but I 
couldn't stand who 'twas, or whar dey was gwain." 

" Without a doubt it was of Viola they were speak- 
ing," responded Kenneth, partly to himself, and 
partly to the negro. " And so they have discovered 
all, and she is to be removed," he mused. '* But 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 79 

whither ? yes, whither ? That I must find out ! 0, 
that I were out of this !^^ Then addressing the ne- 
gro, he inquired, " Scipio, is there no way of speak- 
ing with Sister Ursula to-night ?" 

" Not de fust chance, Marster Egaton. Mine, dat's 
so now, sur, or dis niggar wouldn't nebber say it." 

For a few moments Kenneth was absorbed in 
thought. 

" Scipio," he said, at length, " you must be on the 
watch early to-morrow morning. When Sister Ursula 
leaves be sure to be near at hand- — if possible, en- 
deavor to speak with her ; but if you cannot accom- 
plish that, mark well every word that is uttered. 
Something may transpire from which I can form an 
idea of the young lady's destination ; and that is 
what I am most anxious to know." 

" 111 be dar, Marster Egaton, I will." 

" Very well, Scipio. Remember the directions I 
have given you, and be vigilant. And now, good 
night." 

"With a scrape, and a " berry good night," the negro 
again quitted the apartment. 



80 Viola Hastings; or. 



CHAPTER XII. 

DEPARTURE OF VIOLA FOR MT. CARMEL. — SCIPIO IN HER TRACKS. 

KENNETH CONVALESCENT. 

Early the following morning Scipio was astir, 
eagerly and keenly watching every movement that 
transpired in the building. Nothing unusual occurred, 
however, until some few hours later, at which time a 
carriage was driven up to the door. Scipio was in- 
stantly on the alert ; and stationing himself in a po- 
sition that enabled him to see every person who. 
passed in or out of the house, without himself being 
seen, he leisurely awaited the coming events. 

In a short time the vinegar-faced Superior, accom- 
panied by Sister Theresa, Sister Prances, and Viola, 
made their appearance in the large hall. 

" I hope that you will have a pleasant journey, 
Sister Ursula,^' remarked the Superior, in the most 
uncompromising manner. 

"I hope so, madam," rejoined Viola, with a sad- 
ness in the tones of her voice that betokened any- 
thing but anticipated pleasure. 



The Triumph of Love end Faith, 81 

With that they passed on toward the front door. 

" Dat am she, am it ?" muttered Scipio, to himself, 
as he peeped out from his hiding place. " She am 
an angel, an^ no mistake. Dat's so !" 

With a noiseless movement the negro glided from 
his hiding place, passed out, unobserved, through the 
back part of the building, and headed the carriage 
off at the first cross street. Without attracting any 
attention, he jumped up behind. As soon as the car- 
riage halted — which it did at the steamboat landing — 
he leaped to his feet, and with an obsequiousness 
entirely irresistible, proceeded to open the carriage 
door for the occupants to alight. In his opinion the 
case was getting desperate, and demanded desperate 
measures. He had been directed to find out Viola's 
destination, and he felt the last chance of' doing so 
fast slipping through his fingers. 

The females — even Viola — looked astonished at 
seeing him ; and Sister Theresa frowningly inquired, 

^' What brought you after us V^ 

" Well, I fought dat maybe you free lone wimmin 
might want a little 'sistance ; an' bein' as we was all 
nusses, I 'eluded to offer my services. Dat's so, 
now !" responded the negro, very innocently. 

At that moment some bustle very opportunely 

attracted the attention of the party, during which 

momentary abstraction Scipio managed to give one 

of the horses a punch that set him rearing very vio- 

4* 



82 • Viola Hastings ; or, 

lently. This created a confusion, in tie midst of. 
which the negro managed very adroitly to get close 
beside Viola, into whose ear he quickly whispered — 

" Marster Egaton want to know whar you gwain !^' 

Viola cast one lightning glance at the black, and 
then whispered back — • 

" Mt. Carmel !'' 

The next moment the confusion subsided, and the 
Sisters hurried Viola away ; and though Scipio fol- 
lowed them in the hope of learning more, he was 
entirely disappointed. 

* * ^ * -Sf -H- 

In the meantime Kenneth had been visited by the 
principal attending physician, who pronounced him 
out of all danger ; and shortly after the doctor's de- 
parture the old Superior herself, her sallow brow 
wrinkled by a deep frown, entered the apartment, 
and spread before the youth his morning repast. 
Kenneth made neither remark nor inquiry, which, 
from the old Superior's fidgetting, she evidently ex- 
pected that he would. He was on his guard. 

" The physician informs me that you will soon be 
in a condition to get out," at length remarked the 
woman, in unbending tones. "A circumstance with 
which you are, no doubt, highly gratified. '^ 

" Indeed I am, madam !" responded Kenneth, so 
earnestly as to attract the Superior's particular 
attention. "And who in my situation would nox 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 83 

be V^ he continued, with a view to qualify the energy 
of his first declaration. 

'^ Ah !" ejaculated the Superior. " From the earn- 
estness of your reply I thought that, probably, you 
had some particular reason for rejoicing." 

Kenneth saw the point at which his interlocutor 
was aiming, and simply answered — • 

" The wish to be in good health is but natural with 
everybody." 

A pause of several moments ensued. 

" You, probably, wondered at our changing your 
nurse," continued the Superior, more pointedly. 

*' Not at all," rejoined Kenneth, truthfully ; for 
under the circumstances, he did not wonder at it, but 
rather would have wondered had it been otherwise. 
" Doubtless you had your reasons for doing so, and 
it is not for me to question any arrangements that 
you make," he added. 

The old Superior was annoyed, and defeated by 
Kenneth^s seeming indifference, and she dropped the 
subject with the following remark : 

*' We have made it a rule to place the negro in 
attendance upon those patients who are recovering, 
so that the presence of the Sisters may be had where 
they are most needed." 

With this indirect falsehood she swept from the 
room. In one view of the case, her words were true, 
and in another they were utterly false. Though 



84 Viola Hastings; or, 

Viola's attention would, doubtless, soon have been 
withdrawn from Kenneth, ye,t, as w^e well know, 
there were other circumstances that hastened the 
change. 

Immediately after the disappearance of the Supe- 
rior, Scipio, as if he had been watching for her de- 
parture, entered the room. 

" Well, Scipio, what news V^ demanded Kenneth, 
eagerly. '' Is the young lady gone V^ 

" Sister Usuler, you mean, Marster Egaton V^ 

" Yes !'' 

*^ Well, she am !'' 

" And did you learn whither V' 

" Fo' shu !^' 

" Well, where V 

Scipio then entered into a detailed description ot 
his morning's adventure, and Kenneth heard him 
through, prolix as he was, without once interrupting 
him. 

"And so they have taken her back to Mt. Car- 
mel I'' muttered the youth, when the negro finished. 
" I shall follow her. And Heaven grant that I may 
soon have back my strength !" 

Less than a week after, Kenneth Egerton quitted 
the fever hospital, comparatively well. 



The Triumph of Lovt, and Faith. 85 



CHAPTER XIII. 

VIOLA AT MT, CARMEL. — INTERVIEW WITH HER UNCLE.— GOING 
BACK TO THE OLD MANSION HOUSE. 

The scene of our story now changes to Mt, Carmel. 

Immediately after the arrival of Viola at the Con- 
vent, a full report of all that had transpired was 
made out and forwarded to her uncle. 

A few days later and Torillo made his appearance, 
raging with anger and disappointH>ent. Here was a 
contingency he had not looked for, and he was as 
furious at those who had permitted it to occur, as he 
was at Viola for unconsciously profiting by it. He 
instantly foresaw that all hope of inducing his niece 
to take the vail, was at an end. As yet, however, he 
had resolved upon nothing, further than to take her 
home. 

The apartment in which the uncle and niece com- 
municated together was quite diminutive, and pre- 
sented, altogether — to one unused to such places, at 
least — a somewhat singular appearance ; — three sides 
being white-washed wall, while the fourth was com- 



86 Viola Hastings; or. 



posed of a grating similar to those which may be seen 
in prisons. The floor was uncarpeted ; and in the 
way of furniture it contained only a few ancient and 
worn chairs. From behind the before-mentioned 
grating, it was customary for the abbess and the nuns 
to converse with visitors. On this occasion, how- 
ever, and in consideration of Torillo^s position and 
influence, Viola made her appearance outside of the 
grating. 

At the first sound of the young girFs steps, the 
designing Jesuit smoothed his angry brow, and again 
prepared to play the hypocrite. 

" I must get her home,^' he muttered to himself, 
" and it will not do to frighten her now, or she may 
give me trouble on the road. Once there, and I will 
put an end to this trifling. There are dungeons 
under the old house as safe as the grave ; and if she 
will do as she pleases she must take the consequences. 
Have her out of the way, somehow, I will, I miistj and 
that quickly.'' 

" Uncle, I am come," said Viola as she entered the 
apartment ; and as she spoke she cast an anxious 
glance at Torillo's face. But there was nothing 
there to indicate what was passing in his mind. As 
to her he had always appeared, so was he now — kind, 
considerate and loving. 

" You are looking well, Viola," he said. " A little 
pale, it is true, but well ; notwithstanding the 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 87 



harassing scenes through which you must have lately 
passed.'^ 

Viola trembled, and with a nervous start made 
answer, — 

'' I am glad you think so, uncle !'' 

" She trembles at the merest approach to the sub- 
ject," said her uncle, mentall}^ " They were not 
then deceived, and it is as they represented. My 
course is plain. I w^ill seem'to be in ignorance of all 
that has transpired, and treat her as though nothing 
unusual had occurred." Then turning to the young 
girl, he said, aloud, — " Well, my dear child, your year 
of probation has almost expired. And how stands it 
with you, now ? Is your mind yet made up to carry 
out your mother^s last request, or are you still deci- 
ded to the contrary ?" 

Torillo spoke kindly ; but not, however, with any 
hope to induce Viola to now immure herself in a 
Convent, but only to mislead her. 

His inquiry was followed by several moments of 
silence, during which the young girl was inwardly 
seeking strength to speak her mind — as she now felt 
impelled to — freely. Tv/o things she dreaded greatly, 
how^ever — her uncle's anger, and the fear that her 
own conscience would afterwards upbraid her for 
paying so little attention to her mother's wish. And 
that the former was fearful when aroused — and might 
not her persevering opposition to what w^as evidently 



Viola Hastings; or, 



his wish because it was her motler^s, arouse it ? — she 
knew full well, though never yet had it lighted on her 
young head. She had always dreaded the moment 
that it ever should. 

At length she answered her uncle, slowly, calmly, 
but with a great eflfort. 

" It is best, uncle, that you should wholly under- 
stand my feelings on this point," she said. " And 
that I have considered the subject, deeply, day and 
night, in tears and in sorrow, there should be, can 
be, no doubt in your mind/^ 

"I hear you, Viola," rejoined Torillo, calmly and 
mildly. 

" From the first, uncle, I have looked with horror 
on a Convent life," continued the young girl, sum- 
moning up all her energy. " I cannot tell what actu- 
ated me at the first, but the feeling has long been 
deeply rooted in my heart. And now, uncle, reflec- 
tion convinces me that it is both sinful and unnatural 
for any human being to thus sequester themselves." 

**Even already is she more than half a heretic I" 
said Torillo, within himself. Then addressing Viola, 
he said with seeming indifference, — " Go on, my child, 
I am listening to you." 

How mildly he spoke ! And in that moment who 
would have dreamed of all that lay beneath the sur- 
face? 

" For my mother's wish, uncle, I am deeply grieved," 



The Triumph of Love and .. 'aith. 89 

continued Viola. '' Living, I never disobeyed her, 
youthful as I was when she died. I can well remem- 
ber that ; and to do so now, even though she is not 
here to know it, gives me greater pain than I can 
find w^ords to express." 

" Why do so, then V^ demanded Torillo. 

Viola answered with an energy her uncle had 
never l^efore seen her exhibit — 

" Because all my heart ! all my soul ! all my na- 
ture, cries out against the sacrifice !" she exclaimed. 
" Because I believe that my mother, were she now 
living, would revoke the cruel sentence — because I 
feel that either the dark shadows of the grave warped 
her understanding, or some fear of the living influ- 
enced her mind, when thus she consigned me, her 
darling, only child, to the fate of such a living tomb. 
And for this disregard of my mother's wish, I am 
sure the Almighty Searcher of human hearts will 
forgive me, for He, at least, need not be told that I 
am honest in my convictions, and mean well by what 
I do.'' 

" The child is no longer a child," thought Torillo. 
" And this is, partly, the work of that accursed fever- 
struck heretic. Maledictions on his soft tongue ! 
And does he think thus to step in between me and 
my purposes with impunity ? Let him look to him- 
self if we should ever chance to meet." Then 
speaking aloud, he said to Viola, — " From this time, 



90 Viola Hastings; or, 

my child. I am to infer that your decision is adverse 
to your mother's wishes V^ 

" For the present, uncle, yes !" responded Viola, 
but not without an anxious fear for the result. 

'' For the present /" Torillo repeated, mentally and 
bitterly. " She fears to say out boldly that she will 
not.^' Then again addressing the young girl, he con- 
tinued, kindly and softly, — '^ Well, well, my dear 
child, I shall not urge you any more. And this be- 
ing your resolve, it is useless to remain here. Let 
us, then, return home. Indeed I can scarcely say, to 
tell the real truth, but that in my heart I am now 
pleased with your determination," he continued, with 
a sublimity of hypocrisy. " Since you have been 
away, my child, the old house has seemed particu- 
larly dull and stupid ; and I must confess that lately 
I have often wished you back again." 

Viola was confounded. She had fully expected to 
behold an outburst of violence, and here was her 
uncle's demeanor unruffled — nay, more, he was posi- 
tively kind. She could not see the storm that ^vas 
raging in his heart, and which policy, only, prevented 
from breaking forth. Still she had her misgivings ; 
for, under the circumstances, his calmness, and kind- 
ness, and indifference, seemed altogether unnatural. 
She was well aware that both her language and her 
conduct implied, among other things, a backsliding 
from the Holy Church, and she knew that that 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 91 

oflfence alone, leaving out every other consideration, 
was of suflScient magnitude to arouse her uncle's 
displeasure. What to think she knew not. And if 
her uncle was acquainted with the episode between 
herself and Kenneth Egerton, his conduct was yet 
more incomprehensible. He had not hinted at any 
such thing, however, and the whole course of his con- 
duct implied to the contrary. And yet that he should 
not have been informed of the circumstances ap- 
peared utterly improbable. Thus was Yiola har- 
assed with doubts, and fears, and perplexities. 

" You do not answer me, my child !" continued 
Torillo, after a few moments of silence, which Viola 
had spent in the reflections recorded above, and her 
uncle in watching her expressive face. '' Shall we 
go back to the old house ?'' 

" Yes, uncle," responded Yiola ; though with a 
reluctance she could neither account for nor conceal. 
Situated as she then was, she felt that she had little 
choice in the matter. 

*^ Then away at once and get ready !'' cried Torillo, 
cheerily. 

As soon as the young girl was alone she clasped 
her hands together, and in the anguish of her spirit, 
cried aloud — 

'* 0, Kenneth, Kenneth, where are you? Come to 
me — come to me, dear Kenneth, for I feel that soon 
I shall need your presence 1" 



92 Viola Hastings; or, 



CHAPTER XIV. 

ON THE WAT. — THE ENCOUNTER ON THE ROAD. 

Shortly after Viola had quitted the apartment to 
prepare for the journey home, her uncle summoned 
the aged porteress to his presence. 

" I shall take my niece, Viola, home with me I" he 
said, speaking abruptly, and in quite a contrast with 
his former manner. " Should any one call here and 
ask to see her — especially a young naval officer — 
neither tell them that she is, or is not, in the build- 
ing. Keep them in darkness as to her whereabouts. 
I have reasons — all-sufficient ones. I have already 
stated my wishes to the Abbess." 

While Torillo had been addressing the porteress — 
and during the time thus occupied he stood with his 
back toward the door — Viola, with that noiseless 
step acquired in such institutions, had entered the 
apartment. Consequently she had overheard the 
greater part of what he had said ; and a wise fore- 
thought prompted her to withdraw from the room 
before her presence was discovered. This she sue- 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 93 

cessfuUy accomplished, and when again outside the 
door, she paused a few moments to reflect upon what 
had thus been revealed. Her uncle had said enough 
to convince her that he knew of her love ; but why 
he had refrained from even referring to it she could 
not imagine. That his silence betokened some 
scheme, and boded her no good, she was almost pre- 
pared to admit. And the thought agitated her im- 
mensely. After a few moments, however, she calmed 
down her feelings, and first making a noise to attract 
attention, she reentered the apartment. 

The young girl had now laid aside the peculiar 
dress of her order, and donned another more befit- 
ting a Christian, civilized woman ; and notwithstand- 
ing her mental anxiety, she presented a lovely pic- 
ture. 

" All ready, my child Y^ inquired Torillo, stepping 
toward her as she entered the room. 

'' Quite, uncle." 

Then taking the young girFs hand, he led her forth 
into the air. In front of the Convent a carriage was 
standing, and as Torillo handed his niece in, he said, 

" To-night, my child, we will sleep at a friend's 
house in Baltimore ; and early to-morrow morning 
start for the old homestead." 

"Thank God, that we go not directly home I" 
Viola ejaculated, inwardly. "I may yet find some 



94 Vtota Hastings ; or^ 

means of communicating with Kenneth, and inform- 
ing him of this change/' 

From his niece Torillo turned to the driver and 
whispered — 

" You know your directions. Drive fast, and avoid 
all encounters on the r.oad.'' 

The next moment they were speeding forward, 
and in a little time the Convent was left in the dis- 
tance. 

As soon as the carriage was in motion, Torillo drew 
up the little windows and dropped the curtains, thus 
preventing those within from seeing out, and any 
one passing from seeing in. There w^as something 
in all this that caused Viola to feel very uneasy ; 
but, still, she was apparently an indifferent spectator. 

After speeding on for some time, a single horse- 
man, who was coming from the direction in which 
they were going, drew up across the road, and hailed 
the driver to stop. Involuntarily the latter held up 
a little. 

"Friend," demanded the horseman, "am I on the 
right road to the Convent of Mt. Carmel?" 

" Shure, an' ye are that same, sur !" responded the 
hackman, who at the same moment appeared to be- 
think himself of something, and gathered up his reins 
for a start. 

" And how far am I from it ?" 

" Well, about five miles, more or less." 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 95 



At the first sound of the horseman's voice, Viola 
had started, and alternately flushed and turned pale ; 
but, still, with admirable presence of mind, under the 
circumstances, had remained quiet. Her uncle's 
quick eye, however, detected her emotion, and seem- 
ing to guess at the cause, he shouted to the hack- 
man — 

'' Drive on, sir !" 

Again the carriage sped on, and the horseman was 
left standing in the road. Torillo buried his face in 
his bosom, and preserved the most profound silence ; 
and the young girl wisely forbore making any allusion 
to the interruption. In fact, her heart and mind 
were too full to speak, for well she recognized the 
voice of Kenneth Egerton, and guessed his errand at 
the Convent. He was in pursuit of herself. And 
he had been so near to her, knowing it rot, and ahe 
afraid to discover her presence. 

And on, and on, went the carriage. 



90 Viola Hastings ; or^ 



CHAPTER XV. 

KENNETH AT xMT. CARMEL. — ANOTHER SPY. 

A HALF hour, or thereabouts, afterwards, and Ken- 
neth Egerton was standing in the hall of the Con- 
vent. His horse he had tied to a tree some little 
distance down the road. Behind a small grating sat 
the old porteress. 

^' Madam, I desire to see Sister Ursula on business 
of importance," he said, assuming a confident air, and 
hoping by that means to compass his desires. 

The old woman eyed her interlocutor, mumbled 
over something about *' naval officer," and then said 
aloud : — 

** She is not to be seen, young man, so you had bet- 
ter go away." 

*' Not to be seen !" cried out Kenneth, impatiently. 
" And why not ? Is this a prison ? What crime has 
she committed that she has been condemned to soli- 
tary confinement ?" 

** I only repeat my orders, sir. She is not to be 
seen. Why, is not for me to say. Perhaps she is 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 97 

preparing herself to take the black vail," responded 
the old porteress, maliciously. 

" If that be true," continued Kenneth, Sternly, 
" she is being forced." 

" Forced !" ejaculated the old woman, with a very 
great display of astonishment ; — " we never force any 
body, young man !" 

" 0, no !" responded Kenneth, bitterly, and con- 
temptuously ; — "you never force any body — you Tiever 
do any thing wrong — never I You are spotless saints 
in your own estimation, but something more human, 
and far less pure, in the opinion of every body else." 

" The Virgin preserve us, young man, how you do 
talk I" cried the old porteress, with every show of 
horror. 

"Can I speak with any of your Superiors?" 
demanded Kenneth, angrily and impatiently. 

" If you wish to, I suppose you can." 

" I do wish to ! nor will I quit this building until I 
have had such an interview," rejoined Kenneth, 
determinedly. 

" I will inform the abbess," mumbled the toothless 
old woman, as she disappeared from her box. 

The few moments that she was absent were occu- 
pied by Kenneth in bringing his thoughts into better 
shape. 

When the old porteress reappeared she pointed her 



98 Fiola Hastings; or, 

shrivelled finger to a side door opening from the hall, 
and said, — 

** Walk in there, young man." 

Kenneth followed her directions, and found himself 
in the general receiving room. By the time he had 
taken a slight survey of the apartment, the abbess — 
a tall, severe, unbending looking woman — made her 
appearance behind the grating which we have here- 
tofore noticed. 

" Your business?" she demanded, fixing upon Ken- 
neth her piercing gray eyes. 

" To see one known in this place as Sister Ursula," 
responded the young man, as respectfully as his 
swelling heart would permit. ^' Can I be allowed 
that privilege ?" 

" You cannot, sir P 

" And why not ?" demanded Kenneth, by an ejBTort 
choking down his anger and his disappointment. 

" Because her family will it so 1" responded the 
abbess ; the truth, at that moment, at least, answering 
quite as well as a falsehood. " Our orders were, that 
while she was here we should not admit any stranger 
to her presence." 

" Then she is here still I" said Kenneth, quickly. 

" I did not say so," rejoined the abbess, with a 
slight sneer. 

" Your words implied as much, madam !" 

The young man was losing his patience, fast. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 99 

"Did they?'' 

'' Yes, madam, they did 1" shouted Keaneth hotly, 
all the pent up indignation of his soul bursting wildly 
forth ; — " and, so help me Heaven, I will not rest 
quiet until I know for certain where she is, and have 
an interview with her. You may hide her away in 
the deepest dungeon^— guard her with all that vigi- 
^ lance for which you have been famous from the 
darkest period of the world, and yet will I find a way 
to reach her, and save her. Save her, madam, I 
repeat ! For, under Heaven, I believe that there is 
some conspiracy afoot to wrong that young girl. I 
cannot fathom it yet, but if there be ingenuity in 
man I soon will. Nor shall Monk, Priest, nor Abbess 
— Convent walls, nor secret dungeons, nor threats of 
vengeance, deter me in the pursuit of my object. 
Unscrupulous as you all are, base as you have ever 
been, bigoted and blood-thirsty as all past time has 
proven you to be, what, but falsehood, and wrong, 
and blood, could be expected from you, ever ? Still I 
bid you pause ere you harm this young girl, or even 
compel her into a life at which her soul revolts. 
Protestant America is not Catholic Europe, nor the 
nineteenth century a day in which such deeds may be 
committed with impunity. Look to it, madam, look 
to it !" 

" Peace, idle, vauiiting man !" cried the abbess, her 
bosom heaving, and her eyes flashing lightning 



100 Viola Hastings; or, 

glances. " Profane not these sacred walls with your 
impious threats !" 

" Sacred walls !" responded Kenneth, scornfully. 
Then changing his tone to one of deep indignation, 
he continued — " If from any one place more than 
another the cry of wrong and violence ascends up to 
high Heaven — if one spot mofe than another Ir a 
sink of iniquity — that place is a Convent. And if 
the Great Ruler of the universe, to whom all hidden 
things are laid bare, frowns more darkly upon one 
spot of earth than another, it is upon that spot dese- 
crated by a Convent^s walls. 0, well may the deeds 
done — the things said — the thoughts thought, in such 
places, be hidden behind a vail of mystery and dark- 
ness. Were they God-like — w^ere they Chris tian-liko 
— were they even honest, they would be fit for every 
human eye to gaze upon — for every living creature 
to know. But, thank God ! the day is not far distant 
when the American people, at least, will awake to 
their true character — when these dens of cunning, 
treacherous, conspiring men and women — these sinks 
of vice, and sensuality, and lasciviousness, will be 
held up before the public gaze in all their naked and 
unredeeming deformity. Fare you well. Madam 
Abbess ; and lay you deeply to heart what I have 
said." 

Kenneth dashed from the apartment, and flew past 
the astonished porteress into the open air. In an 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 101 

instant's time lie was in the saddle, and dashing ofif 
like wild on the road to Baltimore. 

As he rushed from the apartment, the Abbess, her 
bosom surging with the deepest passion, quitted her 
place, behind the grating, and passed hastily through 
a door into an adjoining apartment. At the same 
time she called aloud, in the most intense and excited 
tones — 

" Miguel I Miguel I'' 

A long-coated, half-shaven priest, of a sinister as- 
pect, quickly responded to her summons. 

Pointing through an open window, she exclaimed — 

" Miguel, change your dress speedily — then mount 
and follow that man who was just here. You saw 
him r 

" Yes r' 

" He has taken the road to Baltimore. Find out 
where he stops, and then hasten to Father Antonio's. 
You will find Pedro Torillo there. Tell him a youth, 
in the undress uniform of the United States Navy, 
has been here — he will recognize the person — that 
he demanded to see Sister Ursula, and on being re» 
fused, denounced the Church and all her servants in 
the most violent manner, swearing solemnly that he 
would never rest a moment until he had found the 
Sister for whom he inquired. Tell him this, and tell 
him, too, that I say it were best to silence this med- 
dling glib-tongued heretic. Away with you, now 1'' 



102 Viola Hastings; or, 

The Abbess spoke with lightning rapidity, and in 
a very brief time after, the metamorphosed shaveling 
was in the saddle, fairly flying down the road which 
Kenneth had taken. 

Stationed at the window — which overlooked for 
some distance the road to the city of Baltimore — she 
watched her messenger until he was out of sight. 
As he finally faded from view, she muttered bitterly, 
her thoughts running on Kenneth, — 

" The prating fool ! He may yet learn, to his cost, 
what it is to insult and defy the servants of tho 
Church." 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 103 



CHAPTER XVI. 

VIOLA A PRISONEIl AT THE PRIESt's HOUSE IN BALTIMORE. — THE LAY 
JESUIT AND THE TWO PRIESTS CONSPIRING AGAINST KENNETH. 

In a back third-story room of an old-fashioned 
house, on one of the by-streets of Baltimore, still later 
in the day, was Viola Hastings. 

The two windows of the room looked out upon a 
cluster of yards, and were, of course, of too great a 
height from the ground to admit of the young girl 
conversing with any one beneath, even if she would 
have been so imprudent as to attempt such a mea- 
sure. 

The moment she was alone, Viola sank into a chair, 
and, for a time, communed with herself as her varied 
and conflicting emotions dictated. 

" It was Kenneth, I know," she murmured. " Brief 
as has been our acquaintance, I would recognize the 
tones of his voice among a thousand. And he is 
searching for me. Will he discover my retreat ? 0, 
I fear not ! And what can I do ?" After a thought- 



104 Viola Hastings; or, 



ful pause she continued : "In my heart I feel a pre- 
sentiment that some wrong is intended me, and yet I 
cannot tell what. Why will not this cloud lift, and 
let me see beyond ? Something is being done — some 
mischief is intended me which I cannot penetrate. 
Why else this constant watching, and these secret 
movements ? For some reason or other, I begin to 
think I must have an enemy. But who can it be ? 
My uncle ? I almost fear so. But why ? 0, why ? 
What have I ever done to make him my enemy ?'' 
After another thoughtful pause she again continued : 
" Perhaps they fear that I will desert the Church, 
and would prevent it ! But if so, why take me back 
to the mansion house ? Why not have kept me at 
the Convent when I was there ?" Then again she 
paused, and at length again murmured, clasping her 
hands tightly together — " 0, Kenneth, Kenneth, 
would you were here ! No longer then should I hesi- 
tate in my course. Alone and unaided, I am power- 
less. That my every movement is watched, I know ; 
and that I cannot escape, I feel certain. Here, too, 
I am as badly off as before, for they have placed me 
at the top of the house, out of all reach. Doubtless, 
too, the door is locked.'^ 

Viola passed across the room to the door, turned 
the knob and pulled — but vainly. 

" Even so,'' she murmured. "Everywhere I go I 
am now watched and guarded/' 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 105 

From the door she turned to the window, and for 
a few moments silently looked out upon the yards. 

" To appeal to the neighbors would be dangerous/' 
she continued at length ; " for I cannot guess v/hich 
way their sympathies tend, and they may betra}' 
instead of assisting me. To trust the house domestics 
would also be a risk I dare not run. 0, what shall I 
do ? where shall I turn V^ 

During the same time that these and other similar 
thoughts were revolving in Viola's mind, her uncle 
and Father Antonio were closeted together. The 
two soon understood each other ; for they were bro- 
thers in the same scheming, mysterious society, and 
both designing, hypocritical and unscrupulous men. 

To his companion Torillo gave a full and clear ac- 
count of his guardianship of his niece, exposing his 
whole plan and objects without reservation ; only, 
however, adding a little more than was exactly the 
truth. Boldly he declared his intention of appropri- 
ating her whole estate, even if to do so he had to 
deprive her of life. To the Society he expressed his 
intention of giving the half, keeping the rest himself. 
That was only a ^ blind,' however ; for, as we have 
elsewhere remarked, these men ar^ as constantly 
cheating each other, as they are any one else. 

And all this his priestly companion applauded to 
the echo. 



5* 



106 Viola Hastings; or, 

*' And now more than ever am I resolved/' said 
Torillo, in conclusion. '' I look upon the apostate 
girl — for in her heart she is really little less — with 
no more favor than a born heretic ; and it is always 
right, you know, to crush the enemies of the Church. 
What though she is my niece ? my sister's child ? 
Shall that save her ? is that any reason why I should 
let her wealth, more than another's, pass into the 
hands of some accursed heretic ?" 

" No I" rejoined Father Antonio, deeply. 

What else he would have said is not certain, for at 
that moment there was a knock upon the door. — 
Father Antonio broke oflF abruptly, arose, unlocked 
the door, and opened it. The next moment the mes- 
senger of the Abbess entered the apartment, his per- 
son bearing all the marks of hard travel. In a few, 
earnest, but telling words, he communicated his mes- 
sage, winding up by saying that the man he had fol- 
lowed and watched, had stopped at Hotel. 

" And is he here P^ muttered Torillo, intensely. 
*' He has recovered quickly ; but let him look to 
himself." 

*' Is it the young man you have just spoken of?" 
queried Father Antonio. 

*• The same, I suppose, was the response. " He is 
in full pursuit of Viola ; but he must be stopped 
here, right off. By the holy cross, but the Abbess 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 107 

shall find us no laggards I Come hither, close. Let 
us talk upon the subject." ^ 

Then the three drew up together into a knot, and 
entered into a low, earnest conversation. 



108 Viola Hastings; or, 



CHAPTER XYII. 

THE DECOY. — THE ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION. 

The evening of the day on the afternoon of which 
the foregoing incident occurred was clear, balmy and 
starlight, but quite dark. It was September, and 
never did the soft breezes of that glorious season 
waft a sweeter perfume. 

Just as the numerous bells of the city were pealing 
forth eight o'clock, Kenneth Egerton emerged from 
the door of his hotel. His manner was thoughtful, 
and his movements undecidf^<d. On the last of the 
flight of steps he halted, and turned his gaze alter- 
nately up and down the busy street. A moment 
after the young man's appearance, a woman drew out 
from the shadow of the adjoining houses, and ap- 
proached him. Unconsciously he turned and looked 
at her, but so muffled up was her face that the view 
was entirely unsatisfactory. Still nearer she drew 
to him, however, until at length they touched each 
other. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 109 

" Are you looking for any one, my good woman?'' 
inquired Kenneth, at length. 

" Is your name Egerton ? Lieutenant Kenneth 
Egerton ?" responded the woman, in a whisper ; 
having first satisfied herself, by a lightning glance, 
that they were unobserved. 

" It is." 

" Then I was sent for you.'' 

'' By whom ?" 

" Yiola, sir.'' 

Kenneth started as if an electric shock had flashed 
through his whole system. The woman smiled, 
though unseen. She was sure of success, and her 
triumph displayed itself in the curling of her lips. 

" Yiola !" exclaimed the youth, excitedly. " Do 
you know her ?" 

" How else could I name her, sir ?" 

" Have you seen her ? Is she here ? Where is 
she now ?" demanded Kenneth, volubly. 

** Follow me, and you shall be satisfied," responded 
the woman, turning half round, and moving on a step 
or two. " She waits you." 

A moment's pause, during which Kenneth measur- 
ed the woman from head to foot. 

" But how do I know that you are not deceiving 
me ?" he said, hesitatingly. " What assurance have 
I of that?" 



110 Viola Hastings; or, 

" Do you fear ?'' responded the woman, scornfully. 

"FearI" 

Kenneth spoke quickly and angrily, and then was 
silent. After a pause of a few moments he continued, 
calmly — 

" Yes, I fear somethings. The man who says he 
fears nothing, is at heart a braggart and a coward." 

" But you have no cause to fear," continued the 
woman. " Are not you armed ?" 

"Armed! Yes, with these weapons, and these 
only," responded Kenneth, stretching forth his hands. 

" AlFs well !" said the woman to herself. 

" Have you no token from her whom you say sent 
you ?" inquired Kenneth, as anxious to believe the 
woman as he was to see Viola, and yet, very natu- 
rally, inclined to be suspicious of her truth. 

" I have not," responded the woman, with a great 
show of sincerity. " Most likely Miss Hastings did 
not foresee such a contingency. But, perhaps, I can 
satisfy you in some other manner." 

In quick tones the muffled female then described 
the appearance of Viola, and the nature of Kenneth's 
acquaintance with her. 

" I will trust you," responded 'he young man, when 
the woman had finished, misled by the accuracy of 
her information. " Lead on, now I" 

The muffled woman instantly started off, Kenneth 
following a few feet behind her. In a little while 



The Triumph of Love and Faith, 111 

they emerged from the more populous part of the 
city into the suburbs. The light, and bustle, and 
noise were soon left behind, and silence and darkness 
reigned around. Kenneth began again to have 
doubts ; and while he was debating in his mind the 
propriety of the step he had taken, the woman came 
to a halt and awaited his approach. 

" The road is getting very lonely, sir,'' she said, as 
Kenneth came up with her ; " and I will walk by 
your side, now, if you have no objection.'^ 

" None at all," rejoined Kenneth. " But whither 
are you leading me ? Viola cannot, surely, be in this 
part of the city." 

" She is staying at a little country seat, just beyond 
the limits, sir," responded the woman. " We shall 
soon be there, now." 

After walking on a little further, they passed two 
muffled men, who were standing in the shadow of an 
old deserted tenement. In that locality everything 
was as quiet, and as dark as the grave, and the houses 
were old, decayed, and ricketty. Kenneth now 
recalled to mind the circumstance— a somewhat sin- 
gular one, too — of the woman having inquired whether 
or not he was armed ; and for the first time he 
regretted that ho had not taken such a precaution. 

They had gone on but a few steps only, after see- 
ing the two men, when his conductor suddenly turned 
her head round and glanced back. The two men had 



112 Viola Hastings; or, 

now emerged from the alley, and were silently follow 
ing them. Kenneth had observed the woman's quick 
backward glance, and now thoroughly suspicious, he 
demanded — 

*' Why do you look back, madam ?" 

" To see if — alVs iveU P^ responded the woman, 
uttering the three first words in a whisper, and the 
two last sufficiently loud to be heard by the men in 
the rear, or any one else within an equal distance. 

" By Heaven, but I believe that was a signal I" 
cried Kenneth, laying his hand quickly upon the 
woman's shoulder. 

The words had barely passed his lips when his 
guide, who was of good size, and as events proved of 
considerable strength — cast her arms around his 
body, and uttered a scream of terror. Then followed 
the cry of, 

" Save me ! save me ! He will kill me ! he will kill 
me!" 

Kenneth was astounded, and vainly struggled to 
free himself from the woman's strong grasp. At the 
same moment, and before the echo of her words had 
died away, the two men behind dashed forward. 

"Betrayed! betrayed!" muttered Kenneth, still 
struggling in the advantageous grasp of the woman. 

" 0, save me ! save me ! save me !" repeated the 
woman, as the two men approached the spot. 




The Attempted Assassination. 



Page 112 



The Triumph of Love md Faith. 113 

" We'll do that quickly, madam P rejoined one of 
the men. " Upon him, partner, upon him !'' 

" Cowards ! cowards 1" cried Kenneth, passionately, 
still struggling to free himself from the woman, 
whose weight clogged all his movements. 

As he uttered the words the men seized him by the 
throat ; while, with their disengaged hands they 
drew their weapons from among the folds of their 
clothing. Kenneth could not but comprehend their 
murderous intentions, and attempted to cry aloud for 
help, but before a sound issued from his lips their 
arms were drawn back and had again descended with 
deadly velocity. At the moment the blows were 
given the woman let go her hold. 

" Away r' cried one of the assassins ; and she drew 
her hood closer down over her face, and fled in the 
direction she had brought Kenneth. 

At the same moment Kenneth fell heavily to the 
ground, muttering as he sank down, — 

" Murdered I murdered I" 

" His race is run," whispered one of the men, stoop- 
ing down and peering into 'he young man's face. 

'' Accursed heretic,'^ responded the other, spurning 
the body with his foot, " let him rot ! He will not 
again trouble Viola, rail at the Church, or cross my 
plans. My blow never yet failed me, Miguel, and I 
don't think it has done so now." 

"Besides, there is my knife buried at least six 



114 Viola Hastings; or, 

inches in his body," rejoined Miguel, pointing to 
Kenneth^s prostrate form. 

While Miguel had been speaking, Torillo — for it 
was he — had stooped down over Kenneth, and was 
gazing in his face. 

" His face is ghastly, his skin clammy, his breath- 
ing almost imperceptible," murmured the assassin. 
" We did not bungle, Miguel. Curse him I" he contin- 
ued, slapping the cold white cheek of the youth, 
and at the same moment rising to his feet. Then 
gazing around, he again went on, — " But come, Mi- 
guel, we must away. Here come people who have 
been aroused by the fracas, and we must not be 
seen." 

The two men then dashed down a narrow, dark 
cross-street, and in a moment were out of sight. 

At a later hour in the evening, Pedro Torillo, 
Father Antonio, and Miguel, the messenger of the 
Abbess of the Convent of Mt. Carmel, were closeted 
together. 

They were again talking earnestly. 

" You did the work, certain P^ said Father Antonio, 
appealing to the other two. 

Torillo and Miguel nodded affirmatively. 

" So perish every such meddler !" he continued, 
sternly. 

" They should, could I have my way with them I" 
rejoined Torillo, savagely. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 115 

"The enemies of the Holy Church deserve no 
mercy !'' chimed in Miguel. 

" Our brother, here," continued Torillo, pointing 
to Miguel, and addressing Father Antonio — "will 
have good news to carry our worthy Abbess." 

" Aye, that he will I" responded Father Antonio. 

" She will be glad to know that the foul-mouthed 
heretic has been made to answer for his words — 
words that were alike an outrage upon the Church, 
and an insult to herself!" responded Miguel, confi- 
dently ; as if his bosom were the repository of all 
the woman^s thoughts. And for what we know, such 
was the case. 

" And now to bed 1" said Father Antonio, at length. 
" You must be weary." 

With that, these three faithful servants of the 
Holy Church separated. 



116 Viola Hastings ; or, 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

viola's letter. — THE STRANGE CARRIER. 

At an early hour the following morning, M4guel 
quitted the house on his way back to the Convent. 

About the same time, Viola, who had slept but 
little during the night, took a seat at one of the win- 
dows of her room, first raising the sash up to admit 
the fresh, invigorating air. She was very pale ; and 
her countenance was stamped with the traces of deep 
anxiety. The soft breeze of the morning played 
about her feverish brow, but seemed to afford her 
no relief. How true it is that for a mind diseased 
there is only one remedy ! and in Viola^s case that 
medicine was beyond her reach. In her hand she 
held a letter, upon the superscription of which she 
was intently gazing. 

" To Lieut. Kenneth Egerton, Baltimore," she 
read. Then after a pause she continued, — " It is 
written, but how shall I convey it to him ? I dare 
not trust any of these around me, and if it were 



The Triumph of Loi^ and Faith. 117 

otherwise, I know not where Kenneth is. He may 
not even be in the city, for all that I really know." 

At that moment the door of the room was quietly 
opened, and the very woman who had the evening 
previous enticed Kenneth Egerton to follow her, 
entered the apartment. In her hand she carried a 
tray of edibles. 

With a quick motion Yiola concealed the letter. 

*^ Your breakfast, miss," said the woman, pleas- 
antly. 

" Thank you," responded Viola coldly. " Set it 
down." 

The woman complied, and Viola then inquired — 

*' But why am I not permitted to show myself at 
the table ?" 

" I guess for no particular reason," responded the 
woman, with every show of the most thorough inno- 
cence. " I heard your uncle say that probably you 
would be tired, and maybe like to breakfast in your 
own I'oom, and so I brought it to you. He bid me, 
when I came away, tell you, that he would soon be 
ready to start." 

" I shall be prepared," rejoined Viola. Then after 
a slight pause ehe asked — " Why was my door locked 
on the outside last night? Perhaps you can tell me 
that I" and the young girl fixed her eyes on the im- 
mobile countenance of the artful woman. 

** Indeed, I cannot say. Miss," replied the woman, 



118 Viola Hastings; or, 



very innocently. *^ It is strange that it should be 
locked. Are you quite sure that it was ? You know 
doors stick sometimes." 

" I am quite sure that it was, for I tried it well.^' 

** A fortunate precaution, then," said the woman, 
to herself. " The bird would probably have flown 
had its cage been open." Then addressing Viola, 
she said, — 

" It is very singular, Miss ; but probably it was 
done through mistake. I will make inquiry of the 
domestics." 

" A falsehood I" exclaimed Viola, mentally. " It 
was done to prevent me from escaping, or communi- 
cating with any one outside." Then addressing the 
woman, she inquired, — 

^* Madam, may I ask what position you hold in this 
household ?" 

** Certainly, Miss," rejoined the woman, as pleas- 
antly as before, though, for a moment, a dark, bitter 
look rested upon her brow. " I am housekeeper. 
Anything further, Miss ?" 

" That is all." 

The housekeeper then quitted the room, and as 
she disappeared through the door, Viola murmured, 
pityingly,— 

" Poor, degraded creature I" 

For awhile after this, Viola sat buried in deep 
thought. Suddenly ^he raised her face from her 



The Triumph of Love and Faith, 119 

hands, and the light of a new idea flitted visibly 
across her features. 

" If I could but get the letter to the post-office," 
she murmured, " then, indeed, might it reach his 
hands. But how, how am I to accomplish that ? Is 
there no way open for me ? None !" 

Again she buried her face in her hands, and racked 
her brain with the useless endeavor to discover some 
plan of communicating with her lover. While thus^ 
absorbed, a beautiful white pigeon alighted upon the 
sill of the open window. Its cooing aroused her. 
Lifting her head, she fixed her eyes upon it, with 
painful anxiety. In that moment some inward moni- 
tor suggested to her that the bird might be useful to 
her plan. She had heard of such things before. 
While these thoughts were passing through her mind 
the bird flew into the room. Viola quickly lowered 
the window, and having made a prisoner of the little 
creature, paused a moment to collect her thoughts. 

" It is my only chance,'^ she murmured, at length. 
" The moment for our departure is near at hand, and 
I cannot leave the city without making some attempt 
to let Kenneth know of my whereabouts. Unless I 
do, he will doubtless think me still at the Convent ; 
and while he is watching for me here. Heaven only 
knows what fate may overtake me ; for now, if never 
before, I mistrust my uncle, and all. If I tie this let- 
ter around the bird's neck, and then set it free, there 



120 nda IIo.?ti:igs ; or, 

is every chance of its alighting in some place where 
it will soon attract attention. That the letter will then, 
by some means or other, reach Kenneth, I can only 
hope. Situated as I am, it is the best and only thing 
I can do." 

After some little difficulty, Tiola succeeded in 
catching the bird, and having securely fastened the 
letter around its neck by a ribbon, which she took 
from her person, she turned to the window. The 
sound of light footsteps upon the stairs set her heart 
palpitating", and accelerated her movements. Rais- 
ing the window quickly, but noiselessly, she held the 
bird out in the air. 

" Heaven speed you safely, sweet bird !" she mur- 
mured, opening her hands and setting it free. 

While yet watching the flight of her dumb messen- 
ger, the door of the apartment opened, and the house- 
keeper entered the room. Casting a quick glance 
around, she inquired, — 

'• What noise was that I heard, Miss ?" 

" I raised the sash a moment since," rejoined 
Yiola. "Probably it was that. But why do you 
ask ? Would a little noise in my room be out of 
the way ?'' 

*' 0, no, Miss,*' responded the housekeeper, again 
assuming a pleasant tone and easy manner. " I only 
asked out of curiosity. Woman's inquisitiveness. you 



The Tnumjjh of Love mid Faith, 121 



know, is proverbial. But I came up to tell you that 
your uncle was ready to start. He awaits you." 

'' Lead the way," replied Yiola. " I am all ready. 
I need but little preparation." 

The woman instantly turned upon her heel and 
quitted the apartment, simply saying, ^' This way ;" 
and Viola followed on immediately behind her. 

Torillo received his niece kindly^ — asked after her 
health — inquired how she had spent the night, and 
spoke joyously of the prospect of sodn being home. 
And rather Antonio shook her by the hand, and 
bestowed upon her his parting benediction. To all, 
Viola answered briefly, for she more than doubted 
their sincerity. 

A few hours later they landed in Philadelphia. 

Before pursuing the thread of our story we will 
briefly state how Viola had been enabled to indite 
the letter which we have seen her dispatch in such 
a singular manner ; otherwise it may seem somew^hat 
strange. Unprepared for the reception of a prisoner 
— for such, to all intents and purposes, the young girl 
was — Father Antonio had forgotten, or overlooked, 
some apparently unimportant objects ; through which 
omission Viola had successfully accomplished her 
purpose. It w^as, of course, Torillo^s policy to keep 
every description of waiting materials cut of her 
reach, for fear that she might use them to his disad- 



122 Viola Hastings ; or, 

vantage ; and the first question he asked Father 
Antonio, after Viola had been conducted to her room, 
was to that effect. The old priest assured him that 
there was nothing of the description in her apartment, 
and he was really — or, otherwise, he surely would 
not have said so — under that impression. But 
woman^s wit, generally, is keen enough at all times ; 
and circumstances of love or danger invariably 
sharpen it. Though young in^^ears, and inexperi- 
enced in the ways of the world, Viola, as will be seen, 
was up to the standard of her sex. 

Quite naturally, Viola's paramount desire was to 
communicate with her lover. To do that she must 
have writing materials, and to obtain them in the 
Convent was out of the question. The first chance, 
therefore, that she had had, was on her arrival at 
Father Antonio's house, and that seemed a very slim 
one. But " where there's a will there's a way ;" and 
as soon as she discovered that she was locked in her 
apartment, she set to work to rummaging the room 
and the closets, of which latter there were two in the 
apartment. After much searching, she discovered a 
package of old letters, and a stump of a pen ; but no 
where could she find anything in the shape of writing 
fluid. This was unfortunate, but she finally mastered 
the difficulty by pricking one of her fingers, and let- 
ting the blood drop in her pen ; and on one of the 
old letters she had found blank paper enough to 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 123 

answer her purpose ; and from the budget she had 
collected suflScient wax to secure her OAvn precious 
epistle. 

Who will say that the persevering girl did not 
merit success ? 



124 Viola Hastings; OTy 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Kenneth's escape. 

Whilst Viola is on the road to Philadelphia, we 
will go back to the night previous, and retrace our 
steps to the scene of the assassination. 

Kenneth, it will be remembered, sank to the 
ground, murmuring, '' murdered ! murdered !" and 
the two assassins fled at the approach of several per- 
sons, whose appearance, the murderers themselves 
were the first to descry. 

The youth had fallen in such a position that he 
could plainly see the retreating men, though their 
forms were so disguised as to render the chance of 
recognizing them next to impossible. As soon as tho 
outlines of their persons had began to grow indistinct 
— and that was almost in a moment — he raised him- 
self — though evidently with some labor — into a 
crouching posture, and gazed around. 

" The rascals think they have finished me !'' he 
murmured. " But, unless my feelings deceive me, 
they are greatly mistaken. Wounded I may be — 



Tlie Triumph of Love and Faith. 125 

faint and half sick I certainly am — but not to the 
death. This now is the work of the Holy Church ; 
and these men, and that woman, were its agents. I 
have already rendered myself obnoxious, and am a 
marked man. Well, well, we shall see. One thing 
is certain, however, I am not beaten yet, though they, 
apparently, think so. 'Twas a fortunate thought in 
me shamming dead. Had I not dropped as I did they 
might have struck me again, and more fatally. As it 
is, I deceived them nicely. As the poet says, ^ where 
the lion's skin falls short we must eke it out with the 
fox's.''' 

While these thoughts were flitting through Ken- 
neth's mind he had arisen to his feet, and by the 
time he had finished thinking them, he was some dis- 
tance from the spot where he had fallen. 

All this had transpired in a few moments' time, and 
before the persons approaching the scene of the 
fracas had reached the spot. In that vicinity the 
cry of murder was not an unusual one, and at no 
time attracted particular attention, much less any 
sympathy. The few individuals who had been 
tempted out of the surrounding buildings by the 
woman's scream, approached the spot quite leisurely. 
They could see nothing, however, but Kenneth, in 
the distance, and he had now reached a point to 
which the ajarm had not extended. 

" I say, look-a-'ere, you'ser !" shouted one of the 



126 Viola Hastings ; or. 



denizens after Kenneth, and the words were barely 
audible to the ears of the latter ; — '' Vere ar' ye go- 
in' ? an' vot ave ye dun vith that voman vot scream- 
ed so orfully ? Did ye cut her vizzen, ole feller ?'' 

Kenneth hastened his steps, murmuring as he did 
so — 

" 1 Avas blind or I woul3 have seen where I was 
going. One of the worst localities in the city. But 
I believed the woman, so did the magic name of Viola 
delude me. Thank God that I have not fallen a vic- 
tim to my own credulity I It is lucky for me, how- 
ever, that I was not able to cry out for help, as I was 
first impelled to, for all the help that I would have 
got here, would have been most likely on the other 
side.'' 

In a few minutes Kenneth emerged into a better 
part of the city, and after a little while longer he 
reached his hotel. Shunning observation as much as 
possible, he hastened to his room, there to examine 
the condition of his wounds. 

" Not serious, thank an All-merciful Providence !" 
he murmured ; having divested himself of his upper 
garments, and carefully examined the only wound 
upon his body, which was under his left arm. 

The reason why he had thus escaped was obvious. 
The blade of Miguel's knife — the messenger had been 
on the right of Kenneth at the time of the attack — had 
struck up6n the thick back of a heavy hunting watch . 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 127 

which the youth carried in his breast pocket, and 
glancing off had passed through his clothes — thus 
deceiving the wretch into the belief that his knife 
had penetrated the young man's body, while in reality 
it did not even mar the skin. Torillo's knife — Viola's 
uncle stood at the young man's left hand — had passed 
straight through his vest and shirts, inflicting a wound, 
though by no means a serious one. 

Having satisfied himself of the extent of his inju- 
ries, and dressed his wound to the best of his ability, 
he retired to rest, and finally fell asleep thinking of 
Viola, and wondering when he should again see her. 



128 Viola Hastings ; or^ 



CHAPTER XX 



KENNEXn'S SPECULATIONS. 



The following morning Kenneth was early astir, 
and the only inconvenience he experienced from the 
rencounter of the night previous, was a little stiffness 
and soreness in his left side and arm. 

" What a strange dream !'' he murmured, as he 
turned out of bed. And then for a few moments he 
remained quite absorbed, as if recalling the vision of 
his sleep. At length he raised his face from the 
floor, upon which his eyes had been fixed, and began 
to speak, as if addressing some one. 

" I thought that all above, beneath, around me,'^ he 
murmured, "was a thick, impenetrable cloud. My 
brain seemed bewildered, and a feeling of wildness 
swelled my heart. I turned my gaze every way, but 
there seemed no method of escape. While yet my 
straining eyes were fixed upon tha walls of my 
strange prison-house, the clouds began to lift, and 
beyond I saw Viola, radiant and beautiful as the 
angel that she is. With her mild, soft eyes, she 



The Triumph of Love and Faith, 129 

gazed upon me, earnestly, and pleadingly. I bound- 
ed forward, but ere I had reached her, the form of a 
huge serpent started up in my path, and a voice of 
terror hissed in my ear — ' beware ! beware !' Min- 
gling with the warning arose a piercing scream from 
the lips of Viola. An indescribable confusion fol- 
lowed, in the midst of which I awoke, glad to find 
that the horrid fantasy was nothing but a dream." 

Still busy thinking of his vision, Kenneth com- 
menced the duties of the toilette. After dressing 
himself with all his clothing, except his coat and 
vest, he paused in reflection. 

" Under the circumstances,^^ he said, mentally, ^^ it 
would, probably, be better for me, at least for the 
present, to appear in a plain suit. This uniform may 
be a distinguishing mark — by it I may be known ; 
and from recent indications it behooves me to exer- 
cise every caution. Some of these Jesuitical Roman- 
ists, at least, have no conscience when dealing with 
the heretics ; and my connection with Yiola, toge- 
ther with the freedom of my expressions, have, doubt- 
less, made me hated by a portion of them." 

The youth had already commenced changing his 

clothes ; and in a few moments he was habited in a 

suit of plain black, which fitted admirably to his 

finely proportioned person. Apparently satisfied 

with the change, he flung himself into an arm chair, 

and again was buried in thought. Starting up sud- 
6* 



130 Viola Hastings; or^ 

denly, after the lapse of a few moments, he began to 
pace the room backwards and forwards, muttering at 
the same time, — 

" There can be no mistake about it. The whole 
thing is too plain to be doubted. Her uncle, who I 
judge to be a hypocritical villain, is at the bottom 
of it all. The sneaking Sisters discovered our attach- 
ment at Norfolk — else why was Viola so suddenly 
removed from the city ? — and put her uncle and his 
satellites upon my trail. Her uncle, probably, fears 
that I will marry Yiola, and release her and her for- 
tune from his grasp ; and makes her apostacy — which 
the innocent creature has not art enough to conceal 
' — ^his excuse for whatever course he pursues ; if, in- 
deed, which I very much doubt, any excuse be need- 
ed. That his object is her estate seems evident to 
my mind, from his anxiety to induce her to take the 
black vail ; and a weak-minded mother's ignorance 
and bigotry was the hobby upon which he hoped to 
ride to success. And it was nearly successful, too. 
But for my interference — and there, doubtless, is the 
grudge — Viola would have eventually yielded to a mis- 
taken sense of filial duty. Unquestionably my condflct 
has been well canvassed — hence is my life assailed. 
But to a Power mightier than man, or the Holy Church 
either, I entrust myself. That my enemies are close 
upon my track, however, is plain enough from the 
attempt that was made last night. And that those 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 131 

who waylaid me were familiar with both Viola and 
myself, and with all the circumstances of our posi- 
tion, is apparent from their language and conduct. 
The woman knew me, and Viola, too — her w^ords and 
manner prove that. And one of the men, after I had 
fallen, mentioned the name of the young girl, and 
spoke of the Holy Church ; w^hich should be enough 
to convince any reasonable man of their knowledge 
and authority. Who either of the three were, how- 
ever, I could not say. I never saw the woman before, 
that I know of, and she was so completely muffled up 
that I hardly think I could recognize her again. 
Neither do I think I would know the men — except I 
might recognize them by their voices, which I think 
barely possible. Now this would be enough to deter 
some men — but it only makes me more resolute. 
Every hour but increases my love for Viola — and, 
thank God ! I can lay my hand on my heart and say, 
it is not her fortune that I covet — and no human 
power, if she continues willing, shall prevent me from 
possessing her." 

Kenneth's meditations were here interrupted by 
the ringing of the breakfast bell. The youth de- 
scended to the dining room, and ate heartily , for, 
reader, he was a substantial man, and one who put 
great faith in the power of bone and sinew. 



132 Viola Eastings ; or, 



CHAPTER XXI. 

DELIVERY OF VIOLa's LETTER BY THE STRANGE CARRIER. 

We will now pass over the following forty-eight 
hours, during which time nothing of any moment 
occurred in this vicinity. Kenneth wandered about 
the city watching everything, and everybody, but 
irresolute as to his next step. Sometimes he felt in- 
clined to pay another visit to Mt. Carmel ; and then 
his better judgment suggested the impolicy of such 
a course just then. A hundred plans to discover the 
retreat of Yiola flitted through his mind, and as 
quickly as they came were discarded as impracti- 
cable. And above all loomed the agonizing thought 
that Viola might be in danger ; or, at least, might 
be compelled into some course which would blast all 
her future life, and crush all his dearest hopes. That 
these thoughts kept Kenneth on the rack, is unques- 
tionable. 

After breakfast on the second morning following 
his rencounter in the suburbs, the young man saun- 
tered into the reading-room of the hotel. On his 



The Triumph of Love and Faith, 133 



entrance, a gentleman, who was seated at one of the 
tables perusing a paper, lifted his eyes, and nodding, 
passed the compliments of the morning. Kenneth 
returned the salutation, and then seated himself at 
another table, apart from the company ; and in a few 
moments was lost in thought. 

'^ Why, that's singular !" suddenly exclaimed the 
gentleman who had addressed Kenneth on his 
entrance, and evidently at something which he saw 
in the paper. Then turning his eyes from the paper 
to Kenneth, he continued — '' Here's something that 
interests you, Lieut. Egerton. And a very strange 
thing I must say !'' Kenneth looked up inquiringly. 
" Faith, Lieutenant," continued the gentleman, " your 
correspondents will have to be looked after, if this is 
the manner in which they defraud Uncle Sam." 

" I cannot comprehend you, sir," replied Kenneth, 
at the same time moving towards the gentleman who 
had addressed him. " You spoke of something that 
interested me. Will you be good enough to explain ?" 

**TAa^, will explain itself 1" responded the gentle- 
man, pointing to a paragraph in the paper. 

Kenneth followed the direction of the speaker's 
finger, and with the greatest astonishment read the 
following " Notice — " 

" A pigeon belonging to one of our subscribers, was 
found in its box yesterday, having a letter directed 



134 Viola Hastings; or^ 



to ' Lieut. Kenneth Egerton/ tied securely around its 
neck. We must say there is something of an air of 
mystery about the finding of this letter, which invests 
it, in our mind, with considerable interest. The 
whole affair, however, may be nothing more than a 
piece of sport. As- it now stands, it defies all specu- 
lation. If, however, there is such a person as Lieut. 
Kenneth Egerton, and he is in this city, he can have 
the letter by inquiring at our ofl&ce." 

Kenneth looked completely bewildered. 

When the gentleman seemed satisfied that our hero 
had finished reading the notice, he said, 

" Well, what do you think of that. Lieutenant ?" 

**It is most singular," responded Kenneth. "I 
cannot imagine the meaning of it. I will call at the 
office, however, and if this paragraph be other than 
a hoax, obtain the letter. Good-day, sir." 

A half hour after, and Kenneth returned to his 
room with the letter in his possession. Without 
removing his hat he threw himself into a chair, and 
tore open the document. Running his glance down 
the paper his eye rested on the signature, and he 
jumped from the chair, exclaiming — " Viola !" 

"From Viola!" he continued. '' Can it be? Let 
me see ! What does it say ? A moment w^ill end all 
my suspense." Then swallowing down his agitation, 
he read Viola's letter, w^hich ran thus : — 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 135 

" Dear Kenneth — for by that title my heart tells 
me that I must forever, henceforward, call you — I 
have been in this city some hours, though by the 
time you get this — if you ever do — I shall, probably, 
be at my uncle's estate on the banks of the Schuylkill. 
I am watched, and guarded, as if I were a prisoner 
guilty of some capital offence. I can now see it 
plainly, and I am sure some wrong is intended me. 
An unaccountable feeling of dread has taken posses- 
sion of my heart, and I should be thankful for an 
opportunity to escape my uncle's surveillance. On 
you, Kenneth, I rely ; but for my sake be very cau- 
tious, and run no needless risk. This is the first 
opportunity I have had of writing, and you may judge 
from the appearance of the epistle that I have had 
little choice of materials. Ink I could not find, and 
the only alternative that was presented me, was to 
draw a little blood from one of my fingers. How I 
shall get this letter to you I know not. I dare not 
trust those around me, and I am at my wit's end. 
Perhaps some way may yet turn up. I know that 
you are in this vicinity, because this morning we 
passed you on the road between here and Mt. Carmel. 
I recognized your voice instantly. You inquired of 
the driver the distance to the Convent. Keep me in 
your memory, dear Kenneth. And now farewell. 

Viola. 

Midnight, Sept. 20th, 18—." 



136 Viola Hastincjs ; or, 

^' So, ho, the mystery begins to unravel — the clouds 
begin to dissipate !" murmured Kenneth, after he had 
twice read the letter through, and indulged in a few 
lover-like rhapsodies, *^ Now do I know that there is 
some plot afoot, in the success of which I am inter- 
fering. And these godly priests, and sanctimonious 
Abbesses, are helping it along.'' Then fixing his 
eyes upon the paper which he held in his hand, he 
said — " The dear girl declares that she trusts in me ; 
and I will endeavor that she shall not be disappointed 
in her confidence. If mortal man can rescue her, I 
will do so.'' 

Here Kenneth again re-read the letter. 

" Under what difiiculties must the poor girl have 
labored," he continued ; " and how anxious she must 
have been to communicate with me, when she could 
resort to such extreme measures to accomplish her 
purpose. Her blood !" and Kenneth pressed the 
soiled sheet to his trembling lips ; " 0, woman, who 
can fathom the deeps of thy great heart !" After 
another thoughtful pause, the young man resumed, 
his reflections taking a difi*erent direction — " It was 
surely some good angel prompted the dear girl to 
entrust her letter to such a singular postman. It 
was a bright idea, and has proven eminently success- 
ful. Never bird carried a more precious document 
than this ; and though the poor dumb creature had 



Tlie Triumph of Love and .Faith. 137 

no direct agency in its safe delivery, I will have it if 
money will purchase it." 

Again he perused Yiola's suggestive billet, and 
again his thoughts rambled off in another direction. 

*^ So, Viola was not at the Convent when I called 
there," he continued, " though they led me to think 
she was. Judging from that, they fancied I would 
pay them a visit, and concerted a^plan to mislead me. 
But they have failed, thanks to this ;" and Kenneth 
shook the letter triumphantly. " And to think that 
Viola has been in this city — so near me — and I not 
know it. Doubtless, too, her uncle was with her ; 
and, most likely, it was he who instigated the attempt 
upon my life — even if he himself was not personally 
engaged in it. Well, thank God ! there, too, they 
signally failed. And now, let me consider what is 
best to be done. In the first place, then, I must de- 
part forthwith to Philadelphia ; and as I shall proba- 
bly have sharp work there, I think I had better pro- 
vide myself with a body servant before I start. But 
where shall I get a trusty one ? Scipio would be the 
very person ; and if I thought I could obtain him, I 
should almost be tempted to delay my departure a 
little to do so. I must have one upon whom I can 
rely ; and where can I find another of whose faith- 
fulness, honesty, and sagacity, I may be so sure as I 
may of his? It is a strong temptation. Delays are 
dangerous, I know ; and Viola may require imme- 



138 Viola Hastings; or^ 

. diate assistance ; but still I feel that I had better 
have another with me ; and who so likely, or ready, 
to help me, as Scipio ? Yes, Til wait and w^ite to 
Robson about him.'' 

In a twinkling, so to speak, Kenneth was scribbling 
away in a regular locomotive manner. A letter was 
soon written and directed to Mr. Geo. Robson, who 
owned the negro Scipio, in which Kenneth stated his 
urgent wish for a faithful body servant, and offered 
to purchase the man named at any reasonable price. 

On the way to the post office to deposit his letter, 
he stopped at the newspaper office, and obtained the 
address of the owner of the pigeon ; and on his re- 
turn he called upon the man, and made an arrange- 
ment with him by which the bird was to be kept 
until he demanded it. 

These things settled, he returned to the hotel, and 
shut himself up in his own room, there to await, in 
the best way he coul 1, a reply from Scipio's master. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 139 



CHAPTER XXII 

KENNETH PURCHASES THE NEGRO £t!IPIO TO AID HIM IN HIS 
ENTERPRISE. 

At a pretty early hour on the following morning — 
the third day after the departure of Viola from the 
city — Kenneth^s attention was attracted by a low 
knocking at his room door. 

" Who's there T he demanded. 

" Only me, Marster Egaton," responded a familiar 
voice. " I'se cum. Dat's so !'' 

"Ah, ha, Scipio, is that you? Come in I^^ said 
Kenneth, opening the door, and admitting the smiling 
and scraping negro. 

" Ah, Marster Egaton, Fse glad to see you, I is," 
said Scipio. " Dar's a 'pistle, Marster Robson told 
me to fotch you," 

Kenneth opened the letter and read as follows : — 

" Lieut. Kenneth Egerton — 

Dear Sir : The nigger's yours ; and I am 
glad I can serve you in so trifling a matter. His 



140 Viola Hastings; or, 

points you know as well as I do. About the terms 
we shan't quarrel ; but as youVe in such a devil of a 
hurry, w^e'U leave the settlement until some other 
time. Here's to your health, boy ; and when you 
stand in need of a friend come to me* We're all well 
here— white folks and niggers — old folks and babbies. 
WeVe been away, you know ; but Yellow Jack be- 
haves so gentlemanly, we thought w^e'd venture 
back again. No more. Yours, etc., 

Geo. Robson." 

" Characteristic I" murmured Kenneth, with a smile. 
Then turning to the negro, he inquired of him — '' Do 
you know why you have been sent here, Scipio ?" 

" Not 'xactly, Marster Egaton. Marster Kobson 
tole me to fotch dat 'pistle to you, an' to hurry up 
my cakes or I'd git Jessy. Dat's all !" 

" Well, Scipio, how would you like to take me for 
a master ?" 

" De high golly, Marster Egaton, I should like him 
great !" rejoined the negro, his huge, expressive eyes 
sparkling with pleasure. 

" Well, then, Scipio, henceforth you are my pro- 
perty. Your late master has sold you to me." 

" Am dat a fac', Marster Egaton ?" cried the negro, 
ready to dance with joy ; not that his previous mas- 
ter was an unusually cruel man, but that he felt 
deeply attached to Kenneth, for the kindly manner in 



The Tr'umph of Love and Faith. 141 

which he had always treated him, when chance had 
thrown them together. 

" It is just as I tell you, Scipio. And now, I want 
you to be good, and faithful to me, and we shall never 
part until death separates us." 

" Dat I will, Marster Egaton, dat I will !" respond- 
ed the negro, earnestly. " Only jest you try dis 
niggar. Golly, Til do anyting at all for you. Dat's 
sor 

" I believe you, Scipio.'' 

*^ Tank you, Marster Egaton." 

" Now I want you to listen to me attentively. I 
am at present engaged in an enterprise which de- 
mands both caution and secrecy ; therefore, if you 
are asked any questions concerning me — even should 
it only be as to my whereabouts — you must know 
nothing. Do you comprehend me, Scipio ?" 

" I'm dar, Marster !" l-esponded the negro, pursing 
up his mouth, and laying the forefinger of his left 
hand against the side of his nose. " My ig'nance 
shall be 'stonishin'." 

" The enterprise that I speak of, Scipio, is this," 
continued Kenneth. " But, first, you remember Sis- 
ter Ursula, I suppose ?" 

" Does'nt I, Marster Egaton T ejaculated the negro 
enthusiastically. " She were a bressed angel, dat 
Sister Usuler.'' 

" Well, then. Sister Ursula is very rich, and her 



142 Viola Hastings; or 



parents being dead, she is in the charge of an uncle 
of hers, who, I take it, is a very bad man ; and who 
has been endeavoring to induce her to take the black 
vail ; so that he, as I think, might rob her of her 
fortune." 

" De funnel willin !" cried Scipio, energetically. 

The negro had also taken a great liking to Viola, 
little as he had seen of her, and was no more likely 
to show her enemies any mercy than was Kenneth. 

" Failing in that,'' continued Kenneth, " he has now 
conveyed her to his family mansion near Philadelphia. 
I have received a letter from the young lady — how 1 
it matters not — stating whither she was being taken — 
the personal fear in which she stood — and calling upon 
me to help her, if possible. It is to liberate her that 
I am now pledged. And in this business I thought 
that I should probably need a willing and faithful 
attendant ; therefore I wrote your master that I 
should like to buy you, and he has consented, as I 
have said, to part with you.'' 

" Well, Marster Egaton, jest you tole me what for 
to do, dat's all. I'll do any ting at tall to help you an' 
Sister Usuler. Dat's so !" 

" In an hour or two we shall start to Philadelphia," 
continued Kenneth, " and as soon as we reach there, 
I shall legally free you." 

" Fee me, Marster Egaton I" cried the negro, per- 
fectly amazed. " What fo' ?" 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 143 

" Why, shouldn't you like to be a free man T^ de- 
manded Kenneth. 

" Yes, I'd like well enuff to be fee, Marster Egaton, 
but I dun want to leab you, no how !'' 

" Well, it don't follow, because I free you, that you 
must leave me, Scipio." 

" Am dat so ?" inquired the negro, brightening up. 

" Just as I tell you," replied Kenneth. " I neither 
expect, nor do I wish, you to leave me. I want your 
services ; but whatever you do for me, must be done 
voluntarily — not by compulsion. I exact nothing. 
I have bought you, it is true ; but only with the de- 
sign of at once giving you your liberty. No human 
being shall be a slave of mine, no matter how great a 
need I may have of their services. If then, you 
choose to leave me, nothing can, and I would not, 
prevent you from doing so." 

" If I ebber do leab you, Marster Egaton, may I 
be " 

But Kenneth interrupted the negro's earnest ex* 
pression of feeling, by saying — 

" Well, never mind, Scipio, I'll trust you. But now 
we must think of something else. You must also 
remember that Sister Ursula's enemies have likewise 
become mine !" 

" I 'stands it, Marster Egaton, I 'stands it," rejoined 
the negro, with a knowing look. *' Dun you fear 
'bout me 'memb'ring it!" 



144 Viola Hastings; or, 

"I don't fear, Scipio. And now but follow my 
directions, and you will not go astray. We are 
matched against powerful, cunning men, and it will 
require unusual care and circumspection upon our 
part. One hasty, ill-advised step, may precipitate 
all — ruin our prospects, and endanger our lives. 
Besides, we must think of Sister Ursula, and be three- 
fold cautious.'' 

" Dat we will, Marster Egaton !" 

" That you may fully understand my position, 
Scipio, let me tell you that only a few nights ago I 
was enticed into the suburbs of this city, where an 
attempt v>^as made to assassinate me. In fact the vil- 
lains left with the impression that they had taken 
my life. This shows that they are not to be trifled 
with." 

" 'Tempted to 'sassinate you, Marster Egaton !" 
cried the negro, as if the thought were too monstrous 
for belief. " De vagabones ! I wish I had been 
dar !" 

" If you had have been there, Scipio, it is most 
likely they would not have undertaken it. But, now, 
prepare for our journey. Pack up my trunks as fast 
as you can. I am going out for a few moments. As 
soon as I return we shall take our departure." 

" Yes, Marster Egaton, I'll do jest what you tole 
me." 

The next moment the negro was buried deep in a 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 145 

wardrobe. As Kenneth disappeared from the room, 
he thrust out his great woolly head, and grinning all 
over his face, he exclaimed — 
" De high golly, I'se a lucky chile, I is I'' 



146 Viola Hastings; or, 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

VIOLA AT THE OLD MANSION HOUSE. 

VlOLA^s first night at the old mansion house was 
an eventful one. 

Upon her arrival, which — in consequence of a 
detention on the way — was late in the afternoon of 
the next day, she was conducted to the same apart- 
ment which she had occupied three years previously, 
and of which she still retained a very vivid recollec- 
tion. But her feelings on returning to it were far 
different from what they were when she left it ; and 
to the young girl the contrast was exceedingly 
painful. 

We shall not attempt to portray the various emo- 
tions, which, minute by minute, agitated the bosom 
of our heroine. The circumstances of her situation 
will suggest them to the mind of the reader. That 
she dwelt long and lingeringly on the thought of 
Kenneth — that she wondered where he was, and 
whether he would ever receive her letter — and again, 
whether their two destinies would every become one 



The Triumph of Love and Faith, 147 

and inseparable, was but natural. And that from these 
topics her mind reverted to her own situation — so 
evidently a prisoner — so certainly a victim to some 
hidden plot which she could but feel and not fathom 
— is not to be wondered at. 

Her apartment was in the third story of the old 
mansion, and the window overlooked the Schuylkill. 
There she seated herself — as she had done a thousand 
times before, though with different feelings — and 
gAzed down upon the still, silver looking waters of 
the Schuylkill. Night drew on — her tea and toast 
were brought to her room — and still she sat there 
gazing out upon the quiet waters of the river, and 
thinking. 

The view all around was picturesque and beautiful ; 
but she saw it not — heeded it not ; and to our mind 
it would have been a greater wonder if she had. All 
about the old house was the dense forest of luxuriant 
trees, the thick foliage forming an impenetrable 
breastwork. In the clearing between the house and 
the forest were graveled walks, and grassy plots, and 
shrubs, and plants, and flowers. 
" From the side of the house upon which the window 
of Viola's apartment looked, as we have previously 
stated, the descent to the river's brink — after a few 
yards of level ground — was by a steep hill. From 
the elevation of Viola's window, the young girl could 
only see the river over the tops of the trees, the 



148 Viola Hastings; or, 

highest of which were, of course, at the summit of 
the hill on the edge of the level ground. 'The space 
underneath the foliage of the trees, her gaze could 
only penetrate for a few feet, the descent of the hill 
bringing the trees lower and lower, thus forming an 
impenetrable barrier. A person standing on the 
edge of the level ground at the top of the hill, could 
not see directly from them, but by looking down they 
would get a tolerable view of the river flowing at the 
bottom ; though, even then, the trunks of the trees 
somewhat obscured the prospect. 

Looking out upon this scene, though seeing little 
of it, we will leave Viola for the present. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 149 



^ CHAPTER XXIV. 

RUPTURE BETWEEN VIOLA AND HER UNCLE* — THE JESUIT 

ANNOUNCES TO HIS NIECE THE DEATH OF KENNETH. 

— THE YOUNG GIRL's GRIEF. 

In the library, which, it will be borne in mind, was 
in the west wing of the building, looking inland, was 
Viola's uncle, his mind busy with regrets for the 
unsuccessful past, and new schemes for the future. 
At tinies he would walk the floor impatiently, mutter- 
ing to himself, and striking his hard wrinkled hands 
together ; and then again he would cast himself upon 
a lounge, and burying his hard face in his palms, 
for a long time remain absorbed. His mind was vio- 
lently and deeply exercised. At length he talked 
aloud, and as his4:houghts assumed a shape, his heavy 
eye-brows lowered darkly and terribly. The demon 
of bad thoughts was busy in his heart. 

" It shall be done !" he muttered, at length, with 
savage determination. "Her heretic lover is now 
out of the way, and she is safe here. And unless I 
want more champions to rise up I will profit by the 



150 Viola Hastings ; or, 



occasion. By the Virgin Mother, I will dally no 
longer. She shall die ! To let her live with the 
chance of escape is to hold myself in constant dread, 
or to be necessitated to flee the country. She shall 
die ! Her apostacy to the Church — and I can easily 
make clear the charge — will satisfy all inquiry in that 
quarter, if any is needed ; and for the rest I must run 
the risk ; which, however, I don't think very great. 
Yes, she shall die I Fool that I was not to have 
taken this step in the first place — then had I saved 
myself much trouble, loss of time and anxiety. But 
she is my sister's child, and hitherto that thought has 
somewhat restrained me. But even that is over now, 
and I could TciU her without a single regret. Self- 
interest outweighs all other considerations.^' 

Seizing a small bell, that was on a table near by, 
he rang violently. 

The summons was answered by a dark, hard-fea- 
tured man, well advanced in years. This was To- 
rino's confidential secretary, valet, etc. He was an 
outlawed Frenchman, and he went by the name of 
Marco, and no other. 

" Where is my son ?" demanded Torillo, savagely. 

" Gone to the city," responded Marco. Brevity 
was his peculiar characteristic, and among the first 
of his recommendations. 

" How long has he been gone ?" 

" Since early this morning." 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 151 

" Drinking and gambling, as usual, I suppose," 
muttered Torillo. Then to Marco he continued, — 

" Did he say when he should return ?'• 

'' No !" 

" When he comes back see that he is sent to this 
room." 

" Yes." 

" Now summon all the household here immediately. 
I have something to communicate." 

Marco cast one quick glance at his master's face, 
and then wheeling round, quitted the apartment. In 
a few moments he returned, followed by the rest of 
the domestics, of which there were, besides himself, 
two other men, and two women, all, as if especially 
selected for some purpose, of an unprepossessing and 
disagreeable appearance. 

For a moment Torillo flashed a dark, searching 
glance around upon his assembled household ; and 
then, in low, deep, stern tones, he addressed them, — 

" You have been with me, all of you, many years, 
and I have always found you faithful to my interests. 
My will you have ever been satisfied to execute 
without prying into my secrets. That has been, and 
is, all I ask. Let your conduct in the future be of a 
similar character. I have that to do which concerns 
not any of you, further than to execute my orders. 
Disobey me, or meddle in my concerns, and you 
were better never to have seen me. As an a^^ent of 



152 Viola Hastinjs ; or^ 

the Holy Church — of which you are all of you, I 
hope and believe, faithful servants — I have that to 
do which demands secrecy. A heretic has crossed 
my path, and seduced from her duty one reared in 
the bosom of the Church. He has suffered ; but she 
has yet her crime to expiate. Further than that it 
is not necessary to inform you. You may have your 
thoughts, but beware how you let them leak out — 
beware how even the face betrays the workings of 
the mind. And next to secrecy is obedience — both 
cardinal virtues. And now, let my niece^s return 
home be a strict secret confined to this house. See, 
too, that she does not leave the house or communicate 
with any one outside. And while you are watchful 
outside, whatever you hear or see within doors t^ke 
no note of. Now go ! Elise !'' he continued, address- 
ing one of the women, " summon my niece to this 
apartment. '^ 

With a wave of the hand Torillo then cleared the 
apartment. 

" Caution 1 caution I caution V^ he muttered, imme- 
diately he was alone. '' Tis the palladium of a man's 
safety — the key of success. Caution, I say again ; 
for though Viola's heretic lover is dead, she may 
have communicated, for what I know, with others 
equally dangerous ; or may yet — though I hardly 
think it possible — find a way to do so. Women, 
how^ever, are artful and ingenious/' 



The Triumph of Love and Faiih. 153 

There was a preparatory knock, and then the door 
of the apartment swung open, and with a reluctant 
step Viola entered the room, the woman Elise closing 
the door, and remaining outside. 

For a moment the two regarded each other ; and 
then Torillo addressed his niece in tones which he 
vainly endeavored to modify. 

" Viola," he said, " it is useless to conceal from you 
the fact that I am in possession of all your secrets." 

The young girl made no answer, but stood gazing 
fixedly at her uncle — not with a bold assurance, but 
with a desperate resolution. 

" In compliance with your dead mother's last wish," 
he continued, " I confided you to the care of those 
who were instructed to prepare your mind for that 
life which it was her desire that you should lead. 
From the very first you were rebellious and obstinate. 
Unfortunately you were permitted to leave the Con- 
vent. While away you made the acquaintance of a 
heretic I" and Torillo was fast working himself into a 
passion — "who was not slow in winning your too 
vnlUng mind from every sense of duty. In that hour 
you would have deserted friends, relatives, and re- 
ligion. But eyes were on you of which you dreamed 
not. What followed you know, fir you are not a 
fool." 

" Uncle 1" cried Viola with passionate earnestness 

1* 



154 Viola Hastings; or 

— '* why persecute me so ? why seek to compel me 
into a course at which all my soul revolts ?" 

" Because it is my duty, girl !" responded her uncle, 
striking his hands together to give his words greater 
force. " Because I owe it to your mother ! — because 
I owe it to the Church ! — ^because " 

I want you out of the way, he was going to add ; 
but thinking better of the words he finished the sen- 
tence by saying — 

" Because it is for the best." 

" Your duty, uncle, is to consider my happiness ; 
and the Church has no right to interfere in my choice 
of a life," rejoined Viola, giving way to her excited 
feelings, and rising superior to her usual timidity. 
" And for the fulfillment, or non-fulfillment of my 
mother's wish, I alone am answerable." 

" True, girl, true !" hissed Torillo. " By the mass, 
there's no one wishes to relieve you of the weight of 
your responsibility." 

" I will bear it all, uncle," cried Viola, excitedly ; 
*^ only give me liberty ! — set me free !" 

" Free I What for ?" shouted her uncle, passion- 
ately. " That you might marry the accursed here- 
tic?" 

" And if I love him, uncle, why not ?" demanded 
Viola, courageously. " Is he any the less a man be- 
cause his religion differs from your's ? Or am 7 a 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 155 

slave that all my thoughts, feelings, and affections, 
must be derived from others ?" 

"Aye, my slave, apostate girl!" yelled Torillo, 
madly ; in his passion thro\\ing off all disguise. 
" My slave ! to do as / will, let that be what it may. 
And for your heretic lover, unless the grave can give 
back its dead, his wife you can never be !" 

'' Dead ! Kenneth dead !" cried Viola, in agonizing 
tones. " 0, can this be ?" 

*• Aye, dead, girl, dead !'^ and Torillo was now 
white with passion. " By this hand he fell ! The 
poor fool, when he thought to meet you^ met only 
death ! Did you think to play with me V^ 

Viola heard no more. Speak again she could not. 
Pressing her hands upon her heart, she gasped 
hysterically, and sank, a dead weight, to the floor. 

" Let her die !" hissed Torillo, between his set 
teeth. " It will save me the trouble of killing her." 

After several times striding up and down the 
apartment, he again seized the bell, and rang it 
violently. In an instant Marco appeared in the 
doorway, and Torillo pointing to his niece, said — 

" Carry her to hei room, and leave her there." 

Again was Viola's uncle alone ; and in darkness 
too, for night had now settled upon the earth. And • 
still he strode up and down the apartment, muttering 
his thoughts in unintelligible tones. Finally, he 



156 Viola Hastings; or, 

paused, and again rang the bell. Marco appeared at 
the door. 

" Lights I" he uttered. 

Marco disappeared quickly, and in a few moments 
returned with lamps. 

*' Has my soon returned yet T^ demanded Torillo. 

" No !'' 

At that moment the door-bell rang violently. 

" That must be he," said Marco, while yet the bell 
was ringing. "A stranger could not approach so 
near the house, especially after dark." 

" See !" muttered Torillo, beginning again to track 
up and down the room. 



The 2'riumph of Love and Faii.i. 157 



CHAPTER XXV. 

THE JESUIT AND HIS .50N. — THE CONSULTATION. — THE PLOT TO GET 

RID OF VIOLA AN D SECURE HER FORTUNE, — FATHEF AND SON 

SECRETLY AERATED AGAINST EACH OTHER. — VIOLA STILL 

TO BE THE SUFFERER WHICH EVER TRIUMPH i, 

Marco glided from the apartment, aid a few 
moments later the door was reopened, and ''Ferdinand 
Torillo sauntered into the presence of his : ather. 

"Marco has told me that you wished 1o see me 
immediately; and, though I am completely fagged 
out, like a dutiful child, I obey your bidding* at once," 
he said, in a carel ess, ojff-hand manner. " N )W, speak, 
father ; is it any thing urgent ?" 

"I think so,"iejoined Torillo crisply. -But you 
shall judge for yc)Urself. Listen !" 

"Proceed, father," responded Ferdinaac, stretch- 
ing his limbs, and yawning deeply. 

Torillo then seated himself in the opposi te corner 
of the lounge up m which his son was recliaing, and 
without further preface entered into a ful . descrip- 
tion of every event that had any connec ion Arith 



158 Viola Hastings ; or, 

Viola or the designs which he had upon her person 
or her property. With a portion of this, however, 
Ferdinand was perfectly familiar. He knew that his 
father had spent large sums of money belonging to 
his cousin — for he had assisted him in doing so — and 
he knew, too, that the old man had designs upon the 
whole of it. And equally familiar w^as he with the 
attempt that had been made to induce Viola to take 
the vail. Further than that, however, he knew but 
little, until his father enlightened him on this occa- 
sion. And while he had been listening, he too had 
been scheming. His plot wdll soon appear. 

" In this case, father, your success is not much of 
a compliment to your skill," he remarked, when his 
father's manner indicated that he had finished. Then, 
seeing that his words were distasteful to his parent, 
and, thinking it politic to remove, just then, any bad 
impression — otherwise he would have defied his 
father — he continued, — " But, doubtless, you did all 
that man could do.'' 

" Aye, that did I ! But there were events over 
which I had no control," rejoined Torillo, bitterly. 

*' Just so," responded Ferdinand, with a very duti- 
ful intonation. ^'But you put the heretic lover 
beyond the power of ever troubling you again !" 

" That I did !" cried Torillo, exultingly. " 'Twas a 
quick blow but a sure one I" 

" He was dangerous to you and your plans father, 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 159 

and it is well he is silenced. It is one the less to con- 
tend with. With youth and bravery in his favor — 
and love to spur him onward — he might have come 
off too good for your safety." 

" But he is past meddling, now I" 

" Unquestionably, father. But what do you intend 
doing next ?" 

" There is but one way left to rid ourselves — for I 
take it that you are as much interested in this matter 
as I am myself — of the girl, and to secure her money," 
rejoined Torillo, with all the malevolence of a fiend. 

"And that is?" 

" By killing her I" 

" True," responded Ferdinand, thoughtfully. " But, 
how shall it be done ? and, can it be done without 
detection? Viola may have communicated with 
others — you know not to the contrary — besides this 
one ; and should they become anxious about her — or 
any thing of a suspicious character occur — ^an explo- 
sion might follow, and we be buried beneath the 
ruins. For, let the populace once become excited 
against us, and neither our property nor our lives 
would be safe. And every day the feeling grows 
stronger, and deeper against the Holy Church, and 
her servants. I can hear it — see it — feel it ; yes, feel 
it 1" he repeated, bitterly. " Papist, is becoming a 
word of fear and suspicion. And men begin to speak 
and writing against the power of the Church, as a fast 



160 Viola Hastings; or, 

increasing evil, subversive of all morality, republi- 
canism, and law." 

" Aye, Ferdinand ; but so long as the Church con- 
tinues true to herself — so long as we are combined — 
that is the talismanic word — the accursed Protestants 
can make but little head against us." 

" That is true, father ; but while the Church con- 
tinues invulnerable, we, individually, have a much 
greater cause to fear their daily increasing watchful- 
ness. I but mean by this that it is better to be cau- 
tious and triumph, than to be too bold and fail." 

** You are right, Ferdinand ; but so do I hate the 
Protestants, as a body, that I have little patience 
with any of them, individually. But I think you may 
be correct about Viola's having, probably, communi- 
cated with others besides her lover. I have thought 
so before ; and I have endeavored to weigh every 
chance, pro and con. I am not given to rashness, 
you know. Still, I cannot see how secrecy, and an 
ordinary degree of cunning, may not render us safe 
against every contingency. It is seldom that the 
Church or the Society fails, together or singly, in 
promoting the general success of the body, or the in- 
dividual designs of the members. We are a brother- 
hood whose secrecy is impenetrable — whose power 
is quick and far-reaching — and whose laws are impla- 
cable. Pish I 'tis idle to question our power, and 
you never did it before. All at once you seem to 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 161 



have grown chicken-hearted, or something else. I 
can't exactly understand it. You did not talk in this 
way when you gave Marie Sempler — having wearied 
of her love — the fatal drink that forever stilled h^r 
upbraiding tongue." 

Darkly lowered Ferdinand's brow ; and in that 
moment he looked the image of his wicked father. 
Setting his teeth tightly together, he muttered, 
slowly, — 

** Twas her life or mine. I had smothered her 
babe, and in a moment of angry disappointment, she 
threatened me." 

" I am not speaking of the circumstances, Ferdi- 
nand ; I only say that you were not then as fearful as 
you seem now." 

" I am not fearfvl, father ! I am only prudent. 
Times have changed since Marie met her fate. We 
are not now so secure as we were then. Suspicion 
has lighted upon Papists generally, and our word is 
not now as potential as it was formerly. Times, I 
say, have changed ; and it behooves us to be a great 
deal more wary." 

" I know all that ; but there are vaults beneath 
this old house," continued Torillo, drawing closer to 
his son, and speaking in a whisper, " deep and dark ; 
from which no cry could reach the air, and of whose 
existence only you and me are aware. Our fore- 
fathers made their homes prison-houses ; and, regard- 



162 Viola Hastings ; or, 



less of the laws, themselves judges. Many's the one, 
doubtless, whose bones are now bleaching in the 
dungeons beneath us. Why not let her's bleach 
there with them ? Who but ourselves would be the 
wiser ? Short allowance, or none at all, would soon 
end her career, and put us in possession of her 
wealth. Why should we hesitate ? Besides that we 
want the whole of her money — is not the girl an apos- 
tate to her religion, and a traitor to her family and 
friends ?" 

"All that I admit," was Ferdinand's answer. 
" With us, especially as things are, the necessity is 
indisputable. I only recommend extreme prudence ; 
for if, by chance, Viola has communicated with any 
others of the heretics — and it is said, * where there's 
a will' — and you yourself admit Viola's apostacy — 
* there's always a way' — she may be missed and in- 
quired after ; and, in that case, neither the power 
of the Church, nor any cunning influence of ours, 
could prevent the house from being thoroughly 
searched. And hundreds, doubtless, would be de- 
lighted with the opportunity." 

" But they could never discover the vaults I" re- 
joined Torillo, impatient at being opposed. 

" They might. Stranger things than that havd 
happened. Besides, the cry of, ' They are Papists !' 
would render still more keen their naturally quick 
perceptions. As a body, we have earned-a notoriety 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 163 



for all that is terrible and wicked. The vaults have 
had their day ; to use them now, or, at least, in this 
case, would be a risk." 

" Then we can kill her in her sleep, or poison her 
food, and bury the body down on the shore.'' 

" The same objection presents itself, father. If 
any suspicion were aroused, the body might be dis- 
interred ; and an examination would disclose all, and 
ruin us." 

'* What in the fiend's name would you do, then ?" 
shouted Torillo, losing all control of himself. It's 
you would, and you w^ouldn't ! I can't understand 
what you are aiming at, and I almost doubt whether 
you know yourself. What would you do ?" 

" I'll tell you, father," was Ferdinand's quiet and 
thoughtful reply — quiet and thoughtful, because 
there was deceit at the bottom of it — quiet and 
thoughtful, because he wished to mollify, not irritate, 
his parent — ^because he had a something he desired 
to accomplish. " Listen I A far better plan than 
either of those you have suggested has come into my 
mind since we have been talking. You will see at 
once that it is much safer, and at the same time 
equally as sure. I only wonder that you yourself 
did not think of something like it." 

" What is it ?" demanded Torillo, sharply and im- 
patiently. 

" Simply this, father," responded the young man, 



164 Viola Hastings; or, 

not withoi.t some hesitation ; for he lad considerable 
doubt as o his capacity for blindin ; his intriguing 
parent, — 1 ae latter was so familiar vith all sorts of 
plots and c ounterplots, — " simply thi> . Let me marry 
Viola, and on the plea of a marriage tour, convey her 
far away cut of the country." 

Torillo miled and frowned at tta same moment. 
The propcBition seemed to simultaneously strike him 
in a diflfer nt manner. 

*^ If not n the passage," continued Ferdinand, who 
had been ' -atching his father's face but without be- 
ing able t ) fathom his feelings, " if not on the pas- 
sage — and there is every chance — d m't you see ? — 
that she : light fall overboard, or leet with some 
other misl ap — across the ocean. I 3an, at least, rid 
myself of J er, and without the possi' ility of any dis- 
agreeable nquiries, such as might be instituted here. 
The estate would then be legally onrs, and without 
any uncor ifortable prospects ahead. In a proper 
time I CO dd return home, with s< me well-turned 
story, if it were needful, to accoun: for my wife's 
disappears nee. Here, you know, th )re would be no 
one to con radict it. Of course I should expect an 
equal distiibution of Viola's fortune. ' 

** Of cou se," responded Torillo, absently, as if his 
mind were busy with something else. 

Then fo lowed several moments of unbroken si- 
lence. 



The Triumph of Love and FaiVi. 165 

" Well, father, what think you?" demanded Ferdi- 
nand, at length. 

"But Viola ^Tould never consent to n arry you," 
remarked Torillo, still deep in meditatiDU. "The 
plan is good enough, if she would only consent to be- 
come your wife," 

"We need not ask it!" * 

" True ; very true," rejoined the old ma i, slowly. 

" Well, shall :t be so ?" Ferdinand inqi ired ; and 
any other than a really careless or indi ferent ob- 
server would hi.ve noticed the anxious ea ^erness of 
his manner. That it passed not by his ft ther unob- 
served, admits c f no doubt. 

After a pause of several moments, Torillc replied — 

" Yes, let it bo so. Any way to get rid 3f her. 

Now these two men — father and son, too —with the 
same object in view, were playing direc ly against 
each other. Viola was to be the suflferei , however, 
let which would in the end prove successf il. 

" To-night Ian weary, and would go to bed," con- 
tinued Ferdinand, scarcely able to conceal his satis- 
faction. "Besiies, I want time to arrange my 
thoughts. To-E orrow I will see Viola, an 1, perhaps, 
I can either coa : her, or frighten her, into marrying 
me, and by that means avoid the trouble of forcing 
her. I can but try, you know. And as you have 
partially let hei into your designs, I ma;, at least, 



166 Viola Hastings; or, 

effect something by the terror of your purposes, if I 
cannot by any soft words of my own." 

Take your own course. You cannot do much 
harm, if you do no good.. One thing, however, I 
want to urge upon you — haste I The moments 
must not be wasted. What is done must be done at 
once." 

" Be satisfied, father, that I will lose no more time 
than is really necessary," uttered the young man, 
lightly, as he swung open the door and disappeared 
from the apartment. 

He fancied himself on the high road to fortune. 

Tor a few moments, Torillo continued deeply ab- 
sorbed in thought ; but, at length, he muttered — 

" Let him take the job off my hands I So much 
the better. When it is done I will have the money 
or his life. If he rebels, I will send him to the gal- 
lows ; or, better still, to keep his mother company. 
The fool ! he cannot cheat me ! I am too old and 
deep to be cozened by a scheme like that." 

He, too, was secure in a certainty of success. 

As Ferdinand closed the door of his own apart- 
ment behind him, he vented a low, gratified laugh. 

" How well I misled the old man, keen, cunning, 
sagacious as he imagines himself," he murmured, 
with another chuckle. " Let me but once wive 
Viola, and her princely fortune is mine ; and neither 
my father nor any one else can, or shall, deprive me 



The Triumph of Love aiid Faith. 167 

of it. But I must be cautious until the girl is secure- 
ly mine, I must seem to have only father's interest 
at heart ; and now that my chief point is attained, I 
must pliantly submit to all his behests until after the 
accomplishment of my object. I am tired of being 
dependent upon my father — sick of having to beg 
for every dollar I get ; and, now that a chance has 
presented, by my soul ! I will make a bold push for 
myself. Viola's fortune will set me up ; and, come 
to think of it, I don't believe I should hesitate at a 
double murder — if it became necessary — to obtain it. 
So, let the old man look to himself if he attempts to 
thwart me. The temptation would be great." 

With these characteristic reflections, Ferdinand 
composed himself to sleep ; but it was a long time 
before slumber bound his eye-lids. His mind was 
too busy to rest easily. And Torillo, too, had sought 
his pillow, but, like his son, he also lay awake revol- 
ving in his mind scheme after scheme, plot upon 
plot. 

And Viola, likewise, had long before retired to 
rest, sick in mind and body. And as she restlessly 
turned upon her pillow, the agony cf her thoughts 
may easily be inferred from her desperate condition. 
To her frenzied mind — situated as she was — there 
appeared no loop-hole for escape ; and her destiny, 
dark, terrible, and fatal, seemed as unalterable as the 
laws of the Medes and Persians. 



168 Vioh. Hastings ; or, 



CHAPTER XXYI. 

INTERVIEW BETWEEN THE TWO COUSINS, FERDINAND AND VIOLA. 
— THE PROPOSAL OF MARRIAGE. — ITS REJECTION. 

The incidents related in the previous chapter, it 
will be remembered, occurred on the evening of 
Viola's first arrival at the old mansion. The day- 
following, the young girl was too indisposed even to 
leave her bed ; which, for the time being, put an 
end to all further persecutions. Torillo and his son 
chafed at the delay, but, from some inexplicable 
cause, submitted to it. Neither, however, for a sin- 
gle moment, quitted the house or grounds. 

Towerds evening of the second day following, how- 
ever — and the reader will bear in mind that it was 
on the morning of the previous day that Kenneth 
Egerton was making preparations to quit Baltimore 
— the young girl felt somewhat better ; and, having 
arisen and dressed herself, she opened the window, 
and seated herself at it* The fresh, cool air, played 
delightfully upon her burning brow, but brought no 
relief to the agony of her mental sufferings. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 169 



Her convalescence, if we may so term it, was, of 
course, speedily communicated to her uncle. In fact, 
that it should be so, was his express orders. 

Father and son were closeted in the library, dis- 
cussing the minutiae of their mendacious designs, and 
artfully endeavoring to mislead each other, when a 
light tap upon the door arrested their attention. 

" Come in !" said Torillo. 

The woman, Elise, then opened the door, and ad- 
vanced a few feet within the apartment. 

" Well V^ continued Torillo, inquiringly. 

" Miss Yiola has arisen and dressed herself,^' said 
Elise. " She Is now sitting by the window." 

" Then has the time for action come," said Torillo, 
addressing his son. " We must trifle no longer." 

"No I" whispered back Ferdinand. "But first I 
will seek the interview with Viola that I spoke of." 

" As you please ; though I do not believe that you 
will effect anything by persuasion. In the mean 
time I will send for Father Renouf. We shall need 
his services." 

'' Unquestionably !" rejoined Ferdinand, " for what 
persuasion will not effect, force must. You are agreed 
to that?" 

Torillo nodded his head aflSrmatively. 

Then turning to Elise, the young man continued — 

" Summon Vi )la to attend in the parlor, immediate- 
ly, and without saying by whose orders." 



170 Viola Hastings; or, 

The woman — not receiving any contradictory orders 
from Torillo — disappeared to execute her mission. 

Turning to his father the youth again continued — 

"Notwithstanding your presentiments, father, I 
hope to come off successful with Viola ; and, I 
scarcely think that I am too sanguine either.'' 

And he did hope so ; but principally because he 
foresaw much trouble with the young girl should it 
be otherwise. 

" We shall see,^' was his father's muttered reply. 

As Ferdinand disappeared through the door, Torillo 
rang the little bell, and in a moment after Marco 
made his appearance in the apartment. 

" Marco," said Torillo, " hasten to the city, and 
summon hither Father Renouf. I wish to see him 
immediately." 

"He has but just this moment been admitted." 

"Indeed! His arrival is most opportune. Send 

him here.'' 

Marco turned and left the apartment. 

* ^ * * * * 

Viola received Elise's communication with painful 
emotion. But what could she do in such a den of 
hungry, blood-thirsty wolves ? To disobey were use- 
less ; and the poor girl fully realized her apparently 
hopeless and unprotected position. Kenneth dead, 
and her uncle arrayed against her, what could she 
expect ? White as a marble statue, and with a heart 



The Trtumjph of Love and Faith. 171 

aching from days of grief, and nights of sleepless 
agony, she sought th<^ parlor, not to encounter the 
frowning brow of her uncle, as she anticipated, but 
to meet the passionate glance of her dissipated and 
equally dangerous cousin. 

" Cousin Viola, I am glad to see you 1" said Ferdi- 
nand, kindly, at the same time taking her passive 
hands in his own. ^^ It is three years, now, since last 
we met, and you were then, comparatively, a child." 

" Yes," rejoined Viola, coldly, hoping nothing from 
her cousin's kind manner. 

" Why so cold and distant, cousin?" continued Fer- 
dinand, with that same soft, wheedling voice that his 
father knew so well how, upon occasions, to assume. 
" I have never injured you ; I have never been unkind 
to you. Besides, I have come now to save you — for 
that you are in danger you must know — if you will 
but let me." 

" Save me !" cried Viola, quickly, in that one 
thought forgetting every thing else. " Save me 1" 
and she eagerly bent forward. " How?" 

" Listen to me patiently, Viola, and I will tell you. 
But you must promise me not to act hastily, for the 
subject is an exciting one." 

" Go on I" said Viola, in a low, deep whisper of 
intense expectation. > . 

" But first hear what my father has done — and I 
assure you I know every thing — ani. what he proposes 



172 Viola Hastings; or. 



to do," continued Ferdinand, seriously, " Will you 
sit down ?" he inquired, after a pause, at the same 
time very politely handing the young girl a chair. 

Viola silently sank into it. 

Deliberately Ferdinand then related to his cousin 
— and the young girl never spoke a word or moved a 
muscle during the whole recital — every circumstance 
of his father's purposes and plans. And he did not 
spare the old man, either ; on the contrary he painted 
him in the worst possible colors, dwelling with minute 
precision upon all the bad points of his disposition 
and character. It was a revelation to have appalled 
the stoutest — but Viola heard it with apparent indif- 
ference. Not so in reality was it, however. Every 
word seemed to sever, so to speak, one of her few 
remaining life cords. 

Not even when he informed her of the plot to 
induce her to take the vail — of the falsehood of what 
she believed to have been her dying mother's request 
— or, of the forged letter, did she stir or speak. Part 
of this she already suspected, but the whole truth 
came upon her with astounding effect. For awhile 
she could not realize all she had heard. It was sev- 
eral minutes after the echo of Ferdinand's voice died 
away, when she slowly arose to her feet and con- 
fronted her cousin, who had arisen at the same time. 
And as she did so, a pale, wan smile crept ver her 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 173 

white features. In that moment she looked too 
etherial for earth. 

" Let me understand you fully, cousin Ferdinand," 
she uttered, slowly. " You say that my mother did 
not prefer a wish that I should consecrate myself to 
the service of the Church — that it was all a cheat, a 
deception 1 Is that so ?" 

"It is, Viola." 

" Thank God 1 thank God 1" cried the young girl, 
fervidly. 

" But, Viola, you do not seem to realize to what a 
length my father is capable of going I" said Ferdi- 
nand, disappointed and incensed at the little impres- 
sion which the most important part of his communi- 
cation — to his thinking — seemed to have made. 

" Fully !" rejoined Viola, with intense earnestness. 
" Fully 1" 

"Fully!" echoed Ferdinand. "Are you sure of 
that?" 

" I am, cousin, I am !" 

" And what then can you expect ?" demanded Fer- 
dinand, with startling vehemence. 

"What can I expect?" repeated Viola, with a 
painful start. 

" Aye, what, cousin Viola ? What can you expect 
from the liar, the cheat, the assassin ? What fate 
can you look for from the murderer of Kenneth Eger- 
tonr 



174 Vida Hastings; or, 

Viola's lips parted in a low and agonizing scream ; 
and she sank down upon the floor on both knees, 
burying her face in her hands. 

" Viola, there is but one way to escape certain 
death 1'' continued Ferdinand, bending oVer the girl. 
" My father is exasperated, and as surely as he has 
said it, so surely will he take your life. And from 
here no cry can be heard, nor can any assistance 
reach you. The hope of help is madness. You might 
be murdered, and not one person be the wiser. 
Think of it, Viola r 

The young girl was silent, her sobs alone indicating 
her existence. 

" And yet there is one door of escape still open to 
you," continued Ferdinand, earnestly ; hoping that 
he had now so wrought upon the girVs fears as to in- 
duce her to accept his terms. " By becoming my 
wife every door of this house will open, and you may 
pass forth unmolested. Then, in some other land, 
you may pass, with me, a long and happy life." 

Had the fang of an adder penetrated Viola's bosom, 
she would not have started to her feet with a wilder 
look. Her large eyes dilated, her nostrils contracted, 
and her bosom heaved with the deepest emotion. 

** Marry you I" she cried, in tones of mingled 
indignation and horror ; and as she spoke she started 
to her feet. 

" And why not, Viola ?" demanded Ferdinand, his 



The Triumph of Love aiid Faith. 175 



anger deeply stirred by the intensely indignant tones 
of the young girl. " Why not ? Am I a monster, 
that the thing seems so horrible ? Is death — for 
think not otherwise to escape — preferable to my em- 
brace ? Can I not love you, and be kind to you, as 
well as another ?' 

'' Marry you !'' reiterated Yiola, as if the words still 
filled her mind, to the exclusion of everything else. 

" Yes, Viola ; or else you may do that which is 
much worse. '^ 

" Never !" responded the young girl, with the 
deepest determination. " I had rather die ! — rather 
suffer ten thousand deaths than consign myself to 
such a loathsome destiny 1" 

" You are mad, Viola, mad 1" cried Ferdinand, pas- 
sionately, enraged at the young girFs words. " Re- 
fuse this only chance, and your life — do you under- 
stand me, girl ? — your life will surely be the forfeit. 
Think again, Viola! think again before it is too 
late !" 

" There needs no reflection," rejoined Viola, firm- 
ly. " That could never have been — can never, now. 
Come death, wdth all its greatest horrors, before such 
a fate !" 

" Then if you will not be persuaded, Viola" — and 
Ferdinand hissed the words in the girl's shrinking 
ear — " force shall compel you. Escape that, obstinate 
girl, if you can!" 



176 Viola Hastings ; or, 

At that instant a violent ringing of the door-bell 
instantaneously arrested the attention of both. 

** Who can it be ?'' muttered Ferdinand, in a low, 
half fearful whisper ; and at the same time he turned 
from his cousin, and listened in the direction of the 
sound. 

^* Heaven send me help !'' murmured Tiola, gliding 
quietly and quickly from the apartment, by another 
door in the rear of Ferdinand, 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 177 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

THE JESUIT AND FATHER RENOUF. — THE DECOY LETTER. — TH« 
JESUIT TRAPPED. 

Meanwhile the elder Torillo had been- closeted in 
the library with Father Renouf. The latter was a 
dissipated, sensual man, unscrupulous and dangerous. 
A bloat and a libertine, there was little he would not 
stoop to, to gratify his appetites. That these two 
had many dark deeds in common, was but natural. 

After the usual greetings, the priest remarked — 

" And so youVe brought the girl home again 1" 

" Yes !" responded Torillo, sullenly and bitterly. 

" Convent life didn't take her fancy much, it 
seems !" continued the priest, with a coarse laugh. 

" No, not from the first 1" replied Torillo, with an 
oath. " Still, I think the forged letter would have 
accomplished the work, but for a miserably thought- 
less mistake." 

"How was that r 

" My directions were somewhat misunderstood, it 

appears ; and, last summer, Viola— who was then at 

8* 



178 Viola Hastings; or, 

Mt. Carmel, as you know — was permitted to leave 
the Convent with the Sisters of Mercy, to attend the 
hospitals in the south. One of her patients was a 
fine-looking, smooth-tongued heretic youth, an officer 
in the navy. The result of it all was, that they fell 
in love with each other ; and the young man, as I 
have been informed, had almost persuaded Yiola to 
renounce her religion and fly with him, when the Sis- 
ters discovered what was going on, and, alarmed for 
the consequences, speedily returned her to the Con- 
vent. As soon as the news reached me I started 
after her, fully persuaded to forego any further 
attempt to induce her to take the vail. On our way 
I stopped one night in Baltimore, whither, as I 
learned, the youth had followed us ; though in what 
manner he discovered my movements, I cannot 
guess." 

Torillo made a slight pause. 

" Well, what did you then ?^ 

" At night \^e lured him into the suburbs of the 
city, and with a quick blow sent the unshriven here- 
tic into the next world !^' responded Torillo, with 
triumphant vindictiveness. 

" By the Virgin ! an expeditious way of settling 
matters," chuckled the priest. " He is not likely, 
then, to trouble you again. But what do you now 
intend to do with your niece? as I don^t suppose 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 179 

that you have given up your intentions in regard to 
her money." 

" For her, death, too ; unless she accepts of the 
chance which I shall ofifer her through Ferdinand." 

" Chance !" rejoined the priest, opening his eyes 
with astonishment. " Does she know anything of 
what has occurred in regard to herself or her 
lover r 

" She knows everything," rejoined Torillo, coolly, 
and much to the amazement of the priest. 

" Everything ! Would you then give her a chance 
to escape, and bring you to justice ?" 

" I didn't say so," was Torillo's reply ; and a dia- 
bolical look overspread his sinister countenance. 
" The chance I offer her is to die here, or somewhere 
else." 

" Ah ! I see !" rejoined the priest, with a knowing 
nod. 

" Die, however, she must, and for three good rea- 
sons," continued Torillo, sternly. " They are these : 
In the first place, the Society and myself must share 
her estate ; in the next, she now knows too much to 
be at large ; and in the last place, she has turned 
her back upon the Holy Church." 

"Destruction in every form is a righteous judg- 
ment upon the apostate and the heretic," rejoined 
the impious and hypocritical priest. " But what do 
you now propose ?" 



180 Viola Hastings; or, 



" I did propose to make very short work of the 
whole affair, but Ferdinand raised so ins,Tij py^udent 
objections that I finally consented to his proposal, 
which, however, suits me quite as well." 

*' He is not usually very scrupulous," remarked the 
priest, with a show of wonder. 

" No ; nor would he be so now, did not he think 
to further some design of his own by it," rejoined 
Torillo, with a smile. " He has an object in view, 
and fancies that he can blind me." 

'' How so ?" 

" Listen, and I will tell you." 

Torillo then disclosed to the priest his son s pro- 
posal in regard to Viola, winding up by pointing out 
to his companion w^hat were clearly Ferdinand's 
intentions. 

" Let it be just as he wishes," he continued ; " and 
say you nothing to him that shall lead him to infer 
that I have spoken to you on the subject. If in the 
end, however, he manages to come out ahead, he is 
welcome to the prize. But I am neither dead nor 
sleeping. The ceremony — a proof of which, if we 
pursue this course, the law will demand to establish 
Ferdinand's title to the estate — shall take place to- 
night. I was about sending for you for that pur- 
pose, when your opportune arrival saved me the 
trouble. I take it for granted that you are ready to 
officiate." 

P 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 181 

" By the Virgin, Pedro, did you ever know me to 
refuse you a helping hand ?" rejoined the priest, 

" I did not," was the response. 

" No, that you did not. 'Tis many years now since 
we agreed to aid and assist each other, 2>^r fas et 
nefaSj^ and I believe we have both kept pretty well 
by our promise." 

" We have. And if you are satisfied, I am. But 
to what I was speaking about, again. Now, unless 
Ferdinand wins the girFs willing consent — and I 
have but little hope of his success — she will, doubt- 
less, object and resist to the last extremity ; but, of 
course, that must not interfere with the ceremony. 
When the chapel is closed up, it must be a loud noise 
indeed that can penetrate the open air ; and even if 
it should, this house is so isolated that it would never 
reach human ear. And to guard against even the 
possibility of interruption, I will station Marco and 
the men around the house, so as to prevent the ap- 
proach of any one whatever.'' 

" Well, Pedro, I guess we won't be easily put out," 
rejoined the priest, with an air of easy rascality. 
" If the girl appeals to me I'll hand her over to you." 

" Do so ; and if she plead for mercy, I'll thunder 
in her ears anathemas upon her apostacy. 

At that moment the same ringing which had 
startled Ferdinand and Viola, startled these two. 

* By right or wrong ; by any means. 



182 Viola Hastings ; or. 

Filled with a similar unaccountable alarm, they stared 
Into each other's faces. 

" It is the door-bell !" whispered the priest, at 
length. 

" It is !'' replied Torillo, in the same low tones. 

Then followed a few moments of deep silence ; and 
then Torillo walked quietly to the table, and rang the 
little bell. While yet his hand was upon the bell, the 
door opened, and Ferdinand entered hastily into the 
apartment. 

" Some one is ringing at the door !" he said, ad- 
dressing his father. 

" I hear,'' was the response. 

"Who can it be?'' 

" We shall soon see." 

At that moment there was a light tap upon the 
door. 

" Come in !" said Torillo. 

The next instant Marco entered the room, bearing 
a letter, which he handed to his master. All three 
of the men looked vastly relieved. They had ex- 
pected, they scarcely knew what. 

" For you !" said Marco, in his usually brief and 
sententious manner. 

" Who brought it?" demanded Torillo, while break- 
ing the seal. 

"A man." ^^^'' 

There was a moment's pause, during which Torillo 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 183 

perused the document. Then, lifting his eyes from 
the paper, he said — 

'• A man, I suppose. Did you inquire who he 
was ?" 

'' Yes.'' 

"Well?'' 

" He said he was a porter at hotel." 

" Is he gone ?" 
• " Yes. He started right off." 

" Did he act suspiciously ?" 

"No." 

" Did he seem in a hurry to get away ?" 

" No." 

" Everything, then, appeared to be just as it 
should?" 

" Yes." 

" That will do. You may go." 

Just as Marco was in the act of closing the door, 
Torillo lifted his eyes the second time from the 
paper, to which he had again dropped them, and 
said, hastily — 

" Marco I" 

The man halted and turned round. 

" Tell the porter not to admit any stranger past 
the gate, hereafter, without first communicating with 
me. That is all." 

During this dialogue, Ferdinand and the priest 
had been loob'ng on, with a considerable show of 



184 Viola Hastings ; or, 

wonder and curiosity. As Marco closed the door, 
Torillo turned towards them, and said — 

" I suppose you are both of you, curious and anx- 
ious to know the contents of this ;" and he held forth 
the letter. " Well, you shall be gratified. Hear 1'' 

Torillo then read as follows : 

" A gentleman just from Baltimore has a message 
to communicate with Mr. P. Torillo ; but in conse- 
quence of present urgent business, and the necessity 
of leaving early in the morning, he cannot himself 
spare the time to call on Mr. T. He will, however, 

make it a point to be at his hotel — the , at ten 

O^clock this evening ; and if Mr. T. can make it con- 
venient to wait upon him then, he will be pleased 
to lay before him the communication with which he 
has been charged.'^ 

" It is now nearly nine," said Ferdinand, from habit 
referring to his watch. 

" Inquire for Albert Summerfield, and you will be 
conducted to my room,'' continued Torillo, finishing 
the letter. 

A pause of several moments followed the reading 
of this note, during which the three men seemed to 
be busy with their own thoughts. 

" Somewhat singular,'' muttered the priest, break- 
ing the silence. " Do you know of any one who at 
this time would be likely to send you a verbal mes- 
sage, as I take it this is, from the course pursued ; 



The Triumph of Lave and Faith, 185 

for were it written, the bearer might avoid all trou- 
ble by at once forwarding you the communication." 

" Some things, father, do not bear to be written, 
still less to be trusted to tl:e mails," was Torillo's re- 
sponse. 

" True," replied the priest. 

" Father Antonio might desire to communicate 
with me," pursued Torillo. " And under the circum- 
stances he would be more likely to send a verbal 
than a written message, because the latter, in case 
of accident, could be used against us. This mes- 
senger must be one of us ; and he is, probably, on 
business of the Order, which he cannot delay for 
private purposes ; hence his inability to wait upon 
me." 

" Still he might have sent you some token to that 
effect, which he does not," put in Ferdinand, fully as 
suspicious as the priest, and not pleased with a delay 
that threatened to retard the consummation of his 
purposes. " He does not even mention the name of 
any one in connection with the message." 

" It may be a decoy," suggested the wary priest. 

*' I think not," rejoined Torillo. " It has an air of 
honesty that I will trust. And even were it to prove 
otherwise, what have I to fear ? My character stands 
fair, even with the heretic community. And, as for 
the Baltimore affair — towards which your suspicions 
«^f^m to tend, I think — I feel assured th?t everything 



186 Viola Hastings; or, 

is safe in that quarter. Doubtless this message is to 
inform me of what transpired after the matter came 
out ; which, in a measure, it must have done. To 
think otherwise were to doubt some of the most 
faithful servants of the Church." 

" It may all be so," remarked the priest. " And 
yet I don^t like the looks of this." 

"Will you go, father?" inquired Ferdinand, sud- 
denly. 

" I shall," replied Torillo, emphatically. " I can 
lose nothing by it, and may gain information of im- 
portance. Be it as it may, I w^U run the risk." 

At this Ferdinand and the priest exchanged a 
glance which seemed to say — There is no need of 
further argument — he is set. 

" But now, Ferdinand," continued Torillo, turning 
to his son — " tell me what success you had with 
Viola ?^ 

" None !" responded the young man, bitterly ; the 
question vividly recalling to his mind the interview 
with his cousin. '' She declared that she would 
rather die than marry me." 

" As I thought," rejoined Torillo, with a portentous 
scowl. " And now, shall we compel her to become 
your wife, or shall we adopt the plan I first pro- 
posed ? Either will suit me." 

'' I still think my suggestion the best, father," Fer- 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 187 

dinand replied, by no means prepared to yield what 
he thought was his chance. 

" So be it, then," rejoined Torillo. " When we 
return — for I want you both to accompany me ; not 
that I fear anything, but that I would prefer having 
company to going alone — the ceremony shall be im- 
mediately performed, and in a day or two you can be 
prepared to start upon your bridal tour. I will my- 
self see Viola, and prepare her for what now is to 
folio w,'' he went on, seizing the little bell, and again 
ringing it. 

The tintinnabulary sound had scarcely died away 
when Marco appeared in the door. 

" Tell my niece," he continued, addressing himself 
to the man, " that I wish to see her here immediate- 
ly. Say that I will not take a refusal. Away 1" 

As Marco disappeared, Torillo turned to Ferdi- 
nand and the priest, and said — 

" Now leave me for a few moments. When I am 
ready I will call you.'' 

Ferdinand and the priest were barely out of hear- 
ing, when Viola, looking more like a sheeted corpse 
than any thing human, slowly and languidly entered 
the apartment. A moment of deep silence followed 
her appearance, during which Torillo eyed the young 
girl as one might suppose a wild beast eyes its prey 
ere it makes the fatal leap. Viola trembled, and 



188 Viola Hastings; or^ 

sobbed like one whose heart was breaking with the 
weight of some great grief. 

" So, girl I^' at length hissed Torillo, between his 
set teeth ; and Viola started nervously at the frightful 
intensity of his voice ; " so, girl, you are determined 
to thwart me in every thing 1'' 

" 0, uncle, have you no pity?'' murmured the young 
girl, looking up into Torillo's face pitifully and plead- 
ingly. 

"Pity is for women and dotards!" uttered her 
uncle in reply. 

" God help me !'' murmured poor Viola, burying 
her face in her hands. " On all sides am I beset." 

" I offered you a chance, and you have refused it/' 
continued Torillo, intensely. ^' You will not marry 
Ferdinand, you have told him. Think you that to 
starve in the vaults of this old house is better ?" 

Although Torillo had not expected any thing else, 
he was yet considerably put out on finding that Viola 
peremptorily refused to willingly and quietly marry 
his son. Reflection had soon convinced him of the 
many selfish advantages arising from Ferdinand's 
plan, not the least of which was, that the criminal 
part of the transaction would thus be shifted to 
another's shoulders, even though that other were 
indeed his own child — flesh of his flesh, and bone of 
his bone. But that the ultimate result — no matter 
whether his own plan or th-^t of Ferdinand's were 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 189 

adopted — would turn out to his own exclusive advan- 
tage, he had not the slightest doubt. 

That Yiola was greatly amazed at learning of her 
uncle's complicity with Ferdinand in the marriage 
plot, considering the character of the scene through 
which she had but just passed — ^for it will be remem- 
bered that all of Ferdinand's language directly tended 
to produce a contrary impression — is something not 
in the least to be wondered at. Still she made no 
reference to the now undisguised collusion, feeling 
that to do so would be but a useless expenditure of 
time and strength. 

" As surely as you live, girl, you threw away your 
last chance when you refused to marry Ferdinand," 
continued the false-tongued, hypocritical old man, 
after waiting a few moments, and not receiving any 
reply from his niece. 

" I could not marry him, uncle ; he is too — too," 
and the young girl hesitated, really afraid to finish 
the sentence. 

" Well, too what ?" demanded Torillo, fiercely. 

" Too wicked, uncle !" 

"Too wicked, hey I'' rejoined Torillo, derisively. 
" Well, I suppose he is for a saint like you. Doubt- 
less, you would have preferred that smooth-tongued 
heretic !" 

Viola tottered, gasped for breath, and clutched her 
bosom tightly with both handa. In a few moments, 



190 Viola Hastings; or^ 

however, she recovered herself, and then in low, 
tremulous tones, she said, 

" 0, uncle, spare me I If it is my fortune that you 
so covet, take it all ; only let me go. I will never, 
never, trouble you again." 

*' A likely story, indeed I" rejoined Torillo, with a 
bitter sneer. " Why not at once counsel me to put 
ths halter around my own neck ? No, no, girl ! — out- 
side of these walls you never again go alive, unless 
you go as Ferdinand's wife 1" 

"Then is my doom sealed I" murmured Yiola, 
despairingly. 

" Aye, that is it, unless you quickly change your 
mind I" rejoined Torillo, deceitfully. "And think 
not to escape — hope not for a change. Beneath this 
old house you may die and rot, and not a living crea- 
ture will ever know what has become of you. If 
inquiry should be made, there are an hundred plausi- 
ble excuses, any one of which would allay all prying 
curiosity." 

" 0, uncle," sobbed Viola, now almost entirely 
exhausted by the power of her emotions ; and at the 
same time she knelt down and clasped her little 
iiands together ; " oh, uncle, how have I deserved 
this ? what have I done to make you treat me so ?" 

" What have you done ?" yelled Torillo, almost 
beside himseli vith the workings of his black and 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 191 

wicked soul. "What have yon done? You stand 
between me and wealth !" 

" Have I not said, Take it all !" and the tears chased 
each other in streams down the young girl's face. 

" 0, yes ; and let you go free to inform on me ! 
Never, girl, never I^' 

"For the love of heaven, uncle, be a little merci- 
ful !'' pleaded Y iola. " For the sake of my mother — 
your sister — show some mercy to me. 0, let not my 
prayer be entirely in vain I You are human, uncle I 
your heart cannot be entirely turned to stone, so 
that the voice of a suffering woman, and your own 
kindred, too, will not reach its core I Pity me then 
— pity me !'' 

" So pleaded my wife, Yiola, when she stood in the 
way, and refused to profit by my counsel. And as 
she pleaded vainly, so do you. And her fate, too, 
shall be yours. In the very dungeon wherein she 
breathed her last — ^for she died here, in this house, a 
prisoner — shall you spend the few remaining days of 
your existence, if you still continue obstinate." 

" 0, uncle, you cannot mean tliis !'' cried Viola, 
with agonizing intensity. " You could not be so 
wicked 1^' 

" I could be all that I say, Yiola, and more. But, 
marry Ferdinand, and I will spare you." 

The old hypocrite did not say that no harm should 
come to her— he only said that he would spare her. 

9:k 



192 Viola Hastings; oVy 

At the same time he hoped that Yiola would inter- 
pret his reply in the former sense. 

" Refuse, and you know the alternative I" he added. 
" I give yon until midnight to decide. But, remem- 
ber that escape is utterly impossible.'' 

Torillo turned from the apartment, and Viola at 
length succeeded in dragging her weary body to her 
own room. 

But who shall describe the overwhelming agony of 
her feelings ? 



The Triumph cf Love and Faith. 193 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

KENNETH EGERTON AND SCIPIO IN PHILADELPHIA. — MORE COUNTER- 
PLOTTING. — DEPARTURE OF THE JESUlTj FERDINAND, AND FATHER 

RENOUF FROM THE OLD MANSION. ARRIVAL OF KENNETH AND 

SCIPIO. — PREPARATIONS TO RESCUE VIOLA. 

A SHORT time subsequent to the arrival at the old 
mansion house of the bearer of the note — the deliv- 
ery of which we have already seen — two persons in 
a row boat noiselessly approached the shore at the 
bottom of the hill on the river side of the building. 
The oars were muffled, and the approach of the boat 
could not be heard even the most trifling distance. 
As soon as the boat was made fast — which was done by 
burying the small anchor in the gravelly beach — the 
men landed. One was a white man, and the other a 
negro. The reader will not be long in recognizing 
Kenneth Egerton and Scipio. 

And here let us pause for a brief explanation. 

It will be remembered that it was on the morning 
of the third day — the third after Viola's departure 
from Baltimore — that Kenneth and the negro also 



194 Viola Hastings; or^ 

quitted that city. On the morning of the fourth day 
they arrived at Philadelphia ; and so anxious and im- 
patient was Kenneth^ and so fearful that he had lost 
too much time, that he commenced operations in- 
stantly. At first he thought of laying the whole mat- 
ter before the authorities, and of demanding their 
assistance ; but reflection soon convinced him that 
he would be little likely to accomplish his aim by 
such a course. He had nothing besides his own 
word to back up his declarations, and a powerful and 
insidious foe to contend with. Besides which, the 
publicity such a course would give the affair, would 
unquestionably put Viola^s persecutors on the alert, 
and give them ample time to remove her, or adopt 
some plan to defeat inquiry. In view of these things, 
he deteraiined to effect the young girl's release — if 
it was to be accomplished at all — by stratagem. 

Immediately after his arrival he started out, ac- 
companied by Scipio, to reconnoiter the old mansion 
house. While at the hospital, Yiola had g-iven him, 
very fortunately, an excellent description of the 
place : and after approaching the house from the 
public road as near as was practicable, he retraced 
his steps for some distance, and then struck off into 
a by-path which brought him to the river, where he 
secured a boat. He then rowed up and down the 
stream, opposite the building, frequently ; and even 
approached the spot at which we have seen him, at 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 195 



a later hour, land. In that direction he knew the 
window of VioWs room faced, unless, indeed, her 
apartment had been changed, of which he had no 
chance of knowing. Altogether, his observations 
convinced him that from the river was the best, in 
fact the only point, by which he could hope to ap- 
proach the house with the slightest chance of accom- 
plishing anything. After he had returned to his 
hotel, he shut himself up in his room to reflect. 
Finally, he decided upon making an attempt that 
night — little as he had to work on — to rescue Viola. 
That the young girl might not be there — that she 
might already have been removed, were thoughts 
which presented themselves to his mind, creating in 
his heart the most poignant and insufferable emotions. 
Upon chance alone he had to depend ; and though 
naturally strong of heart, some show of despondency, 
under the desperate circumstances, was unavoidable. 

After revolving in his mind innumerable schemes, 
he finally decided upon the plan which we are about 
describing. As a preliminary step towards its ac- 
complishment, he resolved, if possible, to decoy the 
young girFs uncle away from the house ; trusting 
and hoping that those who remained behind might 
not be either as vigilant, cunning, or dangerous. 

Hope — and a rathe"- forlorn one — was all that he 
had to buoy him up. 

In pursuance of the plan which he had resolved 



196 Viola Hastings; or^ 



upon adopting, he set about writing a note. After 
examining the subject carefully, he finally transcribed 
the one which we have already seen delivered. 

By this time it was nearly eight o'clock, and quite 
dark ; and the hazy appearance of the atmosphere 
indicated a rising storm. After giving one whom he 
found he could trust, proper directions for the safe 
delivery of the note, himself and Scipio started ofi" 
ahead. The rest is already known. 

And now we will again take up the thread of our 
story. 

As soon as. the boat was properly secured, and a few 
moments were devoted to observation, Kenneth and 
Scipio proceeded to mount the hill, screening them- 
selves from observation — in case any one should be 
on the watch — by carefully creeping along from tree 
to tree. As they neared the top of the hill, Kenneth 
commanded a halt. At that moment a few straggling 
drops of rain, large and heavy, camp pattering down 
among the branches of the trees ; and the moon, 
which had hitherto been dimly shining, was totally 
obscured. 

" There is a storm brewing," whispered Kenneth. 
" But that, however, is better for us." 

" Dat's so !" responded Scipio, in tones no louder 
than his master's. *' Harderer him come down, doe, 
all de gooderer." 

"AH is quiet so far," continued Kenneth. ''Let 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 197 

us now get a little higher up — ^but be careful. The 
cracking of a twig might discover us, and run all. 
Besides, I don't believe that the inmates of yonder 
house would stand very long at cutting our throats, 
and tossing us into the Schuylkill." 

" Cat's a comf 'able 'flection, Marster Egaton," re- 
joined Scipio, drily. " But I guess afore dey dun do 
dat, doe, I'd make some o' dem 'quainted wid dis yere 
cheese knife," and Scipio displayed a very ugly look- 
ing piece of steel. 

" Be careful, Scipio, and remember my words," 
said Kenneth, emphatically. ^* We must resort to * 
such a course only in the direst extremity." 

" 'Zactly, Marster Egaton. But I tink dat would 
be a 'stremity." 

" Well, yes, it would. But now let us move on." 

Quietly the two now ascended the hill, until they 
had almost reached the level ground, when Kenneth 
again commanded a halt. They were now within 
some fifty feet of the east side of the house. Com- 
pletely screened behind the trunks of two large trees, 
they were, however, effectually concealed from ob- 
servation. 

Again some few large, heavy drops of rain rattled 
among the branches of the trees. 

" Dere's a light up dar, Marster Egaton 1" whisper- 
ed Scipio, pointing toward the house. 

" I see it," responded Kenneth. " From the young 



198 Viola Hastings; or, 

lady's description, it is in the room she formerly oc- 
cupied. Pray heaven her apartment has not been 
changed ! If now she only knew of our presence 
here, she might assist us greatly.'^ 

At that moment Viola flitted past the window, on 
her way down stairs to meet Ferdinand, as it subse- 
quently appeared. Slight as was the view which 
Kenneth obtained, he yet instantly recognized the 
young girl. 

" It is Viola !'' he murmured, eagerly. " Heaven 
bless her and give us success !'' 

" Hark ! Marster Egaton !" suddenly exclaimed the 
negro, after both had remained quiet for some length 
of time, without seeing anything further. 

" Some one is approaching the house," rejoined 
Kenneth, bending forward in an attitude of keen at- 
tention. " It is probably my messenger." 

" Dar he goes !" whispered Scipio, as a dark form 
moved across the lawn toward the great door of the 
house. 

" It is he !" exclaimed Kenneth, as the person 
passed in full view. 

The new comer rang the bell quickly, and the 
summons brought Marco in a few moments to the 
door. Almost at the same instant Viola again glided 
past the window, on her return to her own apartment 
after the interview with Ferdinand. That, of course, 
rew the attention of Kenneth and Scipio in another 



The Triumjjh of Love and Faith. 199 



direction, and, consequently, what passed between 
Marco and the man was almost entirely lost to them. 

" There she goes again !" whispered Kenneth, as 
Viola passed the window ; and as he spoke he 
clutched the negro tightly by the arm. ^* Even at 
this distance I can distinguish the pale and haggard 
look of her face." 

" An' dar he goes !'' rejoined Scipio, as the man 
turned from the door, and began quickly to retrace 
his steps. " Dey got de 'pistle, Marster Egaton I'' 

^^ They have, Scipio ; and now for the result," re- 
sponded Kenneth, his eyes alternately roving from 
the window to the door, and vice versa. If the letter 
does not draw the young lady's uncle away — and I 
must say there are nine chances it will not to one 
that it will — I shall be at a loss whether to proceed, 
or, for the present, give up our undertaking. And 
yet I cannot bear to think of the latter contingency, 
feeling, as I do, that every moment is of the greatest 
importance." 

" Seems to me, Marster Egaton, dat I'd nebber gib 
it up!" rejoined the negio, whose sympathy, from 
various causes combined, was deeply enlisted in be- 
half of Viola. 

" It is a desperate chance, Scipio, at the best," re- 
joined Kenneth. " We may succeed ; but there is 
every probability that we shall not. Still, nothing 
ventured, nothing won." 



200 Viola Hastmgs ; or, 

Again Viola passed by the window, and this time, 
it will be remembered, she was going down to meet 
her uncle. 

*' There again !'' whispered Kenneth, greatly aston- 
ished. ^' What can be the meaning of this?'' 

" Guess she am walkin' up an' down de room," re- 
joined Scipio. " Seems to me she mus' be in 'flic- 
tion." 

" That cannot be or she would repass sooner, and 
more frequently," returned Kenneth, in anxious tones. 
*^ No ! she goes out of the room. What would I not 
give to know the condition of things inside those 
walls !" 

Both now remained quiet for some time, alternate- 
ly watching the front of the building, and the window 
of Viola's room. 

As the young girl returned again to her apart- 
ment, after the interview with her uncle, she, of 
course, again passed by the window ; the room — or 
rather the door and window — being so situated that 
she must necessarily do so. 

" Again she goes back," said Kenneth. " And she 
presses her forehead with her hand. Some mischief 
is afoot, I know. God grant that I may be in time 
to prevent its consummation." 

" Sum one comin' out o' de house, Marster Egaton," 
whispered Scipio, attracting Kenneth's attention 
from the window.. " One, two» free," counted the ne- 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 201 

gro, as Torillo, Ferdinand, and the priest, emerged 
into the open air. Marco, who followed them, re- 
mained just inside the door. The light, which ^the 
latter had brought with him, and placed on a table 
in the hall, cast a bright gleam over the forms of all 
four. 

. " The first one there is the young lady^s uncle," 
whispered back Kenneth. " I know him from her 
description. One of the others — the youngest look- 
ing of the two, doubtless — must be his son ; but who 
the third party is I know not. ' — sh ! they speak. 
We may learn something." 

Kenneth and Scipio fell into silence, and bent their 
ears to hear what was said. 

" It is dark and cloudy," remarked the priest, with 
an oath. 

" Yes — it bids fair for a storm. The sky is very 
lowering," rejoined Ferdinand, gazing up at the hea- 
vens. 

" The more reason that we should hurry !" exclaim- 
ed Torillo. " Besides, we have but little time to 
reach the place by the hour specified." 

" Do you hear that, Scipio ?" whispered Kenneth. 

"I hear 'em, Marster," rejoined the negro, with a 
low chuckle. 

"Somehow, I don^t half like this business," re- 
marked the priest, but without addressing any one 

in particular. " As the old women generally say, I 

9* 



202 Viola Hastings; or, 

feel it in my bones that something's going wrong. 
But, I suppose, there's no use expostulating," he 
murmured, in a low key — too low for either Kenneth 
or Scipio to distinguish the words. 

" For my own part, I shall not say anything more 
about it," remarked Ferdinand, with a show of indif- 
ference that he did not feel. In his heart he well 
knew the utter impracticability of turning his father 
from any set purpose ; and therefore had resigned 
himself, under the circumstances, with the best grace 
he could. " At the same time," he continued, " I 
can't see how much is either to be gained or lost by 
it, except, in the latter respect, some invaluable 
time ; unless, indeed," — and he ventured this remark 
with the faint hope that it might alarm his father, 
and by that means change his purpose — " unless, 
indeed, the authorities of Baltimore have gotten on 
the track of a certain assassin. In that case it might 
be somewhat dangerous." 

" It was Viola's uncle, then, who waylaid me !" 
said Kenneth, mentally. " I thought I recognized 
the voice." 

" Peace, boy, peace !" hissed Torillo, fiercely, turn- 
ing upon his son. " Keep that tongue between your 
teeth, or wag it at somebody else's expense. And 
when I want your counsel, either of you, I will ask it. 
Now, if you like not to accompany me, stay behind. 
I'll go alone. But, go I will, let the cost be what it 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 203 

may ! Marco !" he added, addressing his menial, 
" turn the dog loose, and keep a strict watch around 
the house until I return. Remember what I say V^ 

With that Torillo started off down the avenue, and 
Marco came outside, closed the door, and passed 
round the corner of the building, disappearing out 
of sight on the west side. 

^^ Drat the dog !'' muttered Scipio, as his quick ear 
caught Torillo^s order. "He'll spile all, Marster 
Egaton !'' 

'' ' — ^sh !'' said Kenneth, quickly. " See, he goes 
alone." 

" The old man's in one of his stubborn moods," 
whispered Ferdinand to the priest, at this moment. 
Torillo had started forward. " We might as well 
follow him," he added. '' Come on !" 

" I suppose so !" rejoined the priest, snappishly. 

As these two then started after Torillo, Kenneth, 
who had been holding his breath in anticipation of 
their movements, vented a sigh of relief, and mur- 
mured, thankfully— 

" Heaven be praised, they go too !" 

At the same moment the rattling of chains struck 
upon his ear ; and the next, a huge black mastiff 
bounded into the open space in front of the house. 

" Dar's dat funnel dog !" muttered Scipio. " How 
'voking I how, what de debble dus people keep dogs 
fur, anyhow I" 



204 Viola Hastings ; or, 

" ' — sh !" whispered Kenneth. " Here comes the 
man." 

As he spoke, Marco came around the corner of the 
house, and halted when within some few feet of the 
hall-door. After looking up at the sky, then peering 
out into the darkness, and finally addressing the dog, 
he entered the house, locking the door behind him. 
The click of the lock as the bolt shot into its place, 
was distinctly heard by Kenneth and Scipio, and re- 
assured the former of the utter impracticabihty of 
effecting an entrance in that way. 

The moment Marco disappeared, the dog began 
scenting the ground, noseing around among the plants 
and shrubs. And again the fitful rain-drops rattled 
among the branches of the trees. Some time passed 
in this manner — Kenneth and Scipio afraid to make 
the least movement in dread of prematurely alarming 
the dog, and thus betraying their presence ; and yet 
unable to imagine anynvay of getting rid of him. 

During this time, too, the rain had begun to pour 
down in a thick, heavy, inundating volume. It was 
one of those occasional storms which sometimes de- 
luge the earth ; in a moment, as it were, overflowing 
every practicable point. And with the rain, too, 
came the quick, terrible cracking of the eternal 
thunder, and the sharp, vivid flashing of forked 
lightning. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 205 

" It's coming now, Scipio !" whispered Kenneth, 
alluding to the storm. 

" Golly, dat's so !'' responded the negro. 

" Time passes, too," continued Kenneth. " We 
must make some move or we shall waste the time and 
accomplish nothing. The young lady's uncle, and his 
companions will, no doubt, hurry back quickly when 
they discover the cheat, even if the storm does not 
prevent them from going on at all." 

" Yes, but, Marster Egaton, how we gwain' for to do 
eny ting wid dat 'funnel black dog out dar ? Shu' as 
we move, he'll bark !" 

" See, he draws near us ! he scents us I" said Ken- 
neth, as the dog with his nose close down to the 
ground gradually drew nearer to the spot where him- 
self and Scipio were standing. " Draw your knife," 
he added, setting the example, "and the moment he 
makes at us — which it is likety he will do as soon as 
he discovers us — stab him. Let your blow be quick 
and sure, so as to prevent him from giving any 
alarm." 

" I'se dar, Marster Egaton !" responded Scipio. " I 
once fit a bloodhoun', an' I knows sumfin' 'bout it." 

As the last word passed the negro's lips, a vivid 
flash of lightning illuminated the whole scene, reveal- 
ing the great dog within a few feet of them. In the 
same mgment the brute also spied the negro, and 
venting a low growl, which he ended with a quick, 



206 Viola Hastinys ; or, 

sharp bark, he sprang full at Scipio's throat. But as 
the black had just declared, he had had some experi- 
ence in that way, and he met the animal's charge 
firmly and steadily. Catching the dog by the throat 
with his left hand, with his right he buried the knife 
deep in his head. It was a powerful and well-directed 
blow. 

At the same moment that the dog sprang at Scipio, 
Kenneth dashed at the furious beast, and almost 
simultaneously with the negro ran his knife through 
the brute's body. Without a groan the dog expired. 
Both then seized hold of the body, and dragging it 
quickly a little further down the hill, placed it against 
the trunk of a tree, and then returned to their former 
position. All this occurred within the space of a 
very few moments after the dog barked. 

" Are you hurt, Scipio ?'' inquired Kenneth, as soon 
as they had regained their place of concealment. 

" Not a scratch, Marster Egaton ! Dat dog wasn't 
no 'count arter all." 

Some movement at the house now arrested the 
attention of Kenneth and Scipio, and both instantly 
became silent. Directly the hall door was flung open, 
and the forms of two men appeared reflected on the 
light in the background. It was Marco and one of 
the servants. After looking about them for some 
time, the latter said to the former — 

" I don't see the dog nor hear him." 



The Triumph of Love a)\d Faith. 207 

" Nor I," rejoined Marco. 

" I heard him bark, though, I^d swear." 

*' So did I." 

^' He was angry, too." 

" Yes. Let us look around." 

Marco passed down the steps followed by the man ; 
and Kenneth and Scipio watched their movements 
with great anxiety, and some alarm. The storm, 
however, was in favor of our adventurers, as it pre- 
vented too strict a search from being made. 

Marco and the man, after drawing up their coat 
collars, and each bestowing a choice expletive on the 
raging storm, passed around from the front to the 
west or off side of the house, from thence around to 
the rear or north end, and from thence again to the 
east side, in front of which, of course, Kenneth and 
Scipio were stationed. As they came around the 
north-east corner of the building, a flash of lightning 
revealed their presence to the concealed men. 

'^ Every thing looks right," remarked the man to 
Marco, as they passed along. 

" Yes," rejoined the latter. " Mostiikely the dog 
barked at the lightning, and then ran off into the 
woods." 

" How it does rain," muttered the man, with an oath. 
" The dog ought to be choked for bringing us out in 
such a storm, and without a cause." 

" Let us get in. He will, no doubt, return in a few 



208 Viola Hastings ; or, 

moments, and nobody can approach the house while 
he is loose." 

" 'Cept we," whispered Scipio, with a low chuckle 
of satisfaction. 

The men had now reached the door, and after 
taking another look around, they reentered the house. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 209 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

viola's escape nearly accomplished. 

" De^re gone, Marster Egaton," whispered Scipio. 
" De funnel fools, to tink dat yere dog was eny 
'count I" 

" Now's our time," said Kenneth. " The ground is 
clear, and for the present no further examination will 
be made. I take it these fellows are not as vigilant 
as their master is ; and we may be thankful they are 
not.'' 

" Dat's just so, Marster Egaton !" 

"Now listen to me, Scipio," continued Kenneth, 
speaking quickly. " Much is to be done, and there 
is little time to do it in. It is quite evident that the 
only way for us to communicate with the lady, or 
render her any assistance, with the least chance of 
success, is by the window of her apartment. To 
enter the house any other way is out of the question. 
This I want you to attempt — not that I seek to avoid 
any trouble or danger myself, but that I think it ad- 
visable for the success of our enterprise. Without 



210 Viola Hastings; or, 



a doubt the young lady has been led to think that I 
am dead, and my sudden appearance in her room 
might create a scene that would discover and ruin 
all. Do you understand me ?" 

" I does, Marster Egaton/' 

" And are you willing to run the risk, and incur 
the danger ?'^ 

" Dun you spoke 'bout it, Marster Egaton. 'Sides 
you are in jestxas much danger down yere as ef you 
was up dar. Dat's so, now !" 

" You are about right, Scipio. But can you 
climb r 

'^ Like a monkey, Marster Egaton !'' 

" Approach the house softly, then," continued Ken- 
neth. " When you think you are near enough, pick 
up a pebble, and cast it against yonder window. 
Doubtless that will attract the young lady's atten- 
tion — at least we will hope so — and draw her to the 
window. You can then tell her — ^but be sure and 
speak in very low tones — that a friend who is fami- 
liar with her unfortunate position has sent you to re- 
lease her ; and if she will make a rope of something 
by which you can enter her room, you will see what 
can be done. Mention your name ; she will probably 
remember it, and that may — no doubt, will — induce 
her to believe ypu. Should she question you more^ 
however, — and it is reasonable to suppose she may — 
tell her that one who knew Kenneth Egerton i?. wait- 



The Triumph of Love and Fait'i. 211 

ing to receive her ; but don't say that it is myself, 
for it might overpower her, and thus frustrate our 
plans. Before lowering her down, see that she is 
wrapped up thickly and warmly, or this driving 
storm may prove too much for her tender frame. 
When she is down, descend yourself, and rejoin me. 
Do you now understand what I have been telling 

you?" 

" 'Cisely, Marster Egaton, 'cisely. But s'pose she 
won't lieve me, how den?" 

" Then we must resort to some other method. But 
I don't anticipate any trouble in that respect, 
Scipio." 

" And sposen she ain't got noten' for to make a 
rope, nudder, Marster Egaton, how den ?" 

" Let her tie some of her clothing together — that 
will answer every purpose." 

" Dat's so, Marster Egaton, dat's so !" 

" Now go," continued Kenneth. " But be quick 
and cautious ; for as I said before, we have little 
time to spare. I will remain here and watch. In 
case of danger, depend upon my assistance. I will 
never desert you." 

All this time the rain was pouring down in tor- 
rents — the thunder bellowing, and the lightning 
flashing with almost blinding brilliancy. 

With a quiet, noiseless movement, Scipio cautious- 
ly approached the house. When directly under the 



212 Viola Hastings; or, 



window of Viola's apartment- — from which still 
gleamed the reflections of a light, though now the 
curtains were dropped — he stooped down and picked 
up a few small pebbles. Casting them at the win- 
dow, the stones struck the glass with a sharp, rat- 
tling sound. A moment after, Viola, pale and hag- 
gard, appeared at the window, drew aside the cur- 
tains, and looked out ; but the intense darkness con- 
cealed every object, and she disappeared without 
giving the incident any further attention ; doubtless, 
attributing the noise which had attracted her atten- 
tion to the storm. 

" Now jest look a dat !" nruttered Scipio, audibly ; 
in his disappointment forgetting some of his caution. 

" sh!" said Kenneth, who had easily caught 

the sound of his voice. *' Try again." 

The next moment a few more well directed pebbles 
rattled against the glass ; and again Viola appeared 
at the window, and drew aside the curtains. As she 
peered through the window, with her face pressed 
tightly to the glass, and shaded by her hands, a flash 
of lightning lit up the surrounding space, and doubt- 
less, revealed to her the form of the negro, for 
instantly after she raised the sash and inquired, — 

" Who's there ?" 

" Scipio, Missus. Dun you 'member, Scipio ? But 
fust let me tell you to spoke berry low, 'kase we ain't 
got many friens' 'bout yere." 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 213 

" Yes, I do remember you," rejoined Viola ; and 
the thought recalled an agonizing memory of Ken- 
neth. " But what has brought you here at this time 
of night ? and such a night, too." 

" I cum to git you out o' dis yere, ef agreeable. 
Dat's so 1" 

" Are you all alone ?" demanded Viola, in trem- 
bling tones, as a hope of liberty, bright as the sun 
after a raging storm, welled up in her bosom. 

" 0, no, Missus. Bar's a frien' o' your's out yere. 
Dat's so !" 

" A friend ! Come to save me !" murmured Viola, 
tremblingly. " You are not deceiving me, are you ?" 

" Ef I am I hope I may broke my neck afore I git 
up dar," replied the negro, indignantly. 

*' But how are you to reach this window ?" Viola 
inquired. " The distance is great." 

" Marster Eg — ," began the momentarily thought- 
less negro ; but immediately correcting himself, 
though with some confusion, he continued — " no, not 
dat. I mean your frien' out yere, he say, ef you ain't 
got no rope. Missus — an' I don't 'spec you hab — you 
jest take an' tie sum o' your gownds togedder, an' 
lower dem out. But, Missus, you mus' be mighty 
quick. Dat's so, now !" 

" I will ! I will 1" cried Viola, the prospect of free- 
dom — the hope of escaping the clutches of her uncle, 
inspiring her mind with new courage, and her body 



214 Viola Hastings, r, 

with new strength. " I would try to get a rope from 
the store-room, but that the door of my apartment 
has been locked on me." 

" Well, ncbber mind now. Missus ; only jest hurry 
wid de odder tings," rejoined Scipio, with eager impa- 
tience. '' Golly, how him rain I" he continued, hug- 
ging up close to the wall. 

It was true that Viola had been locked in her room. 
After returning to her apartment from the interview 
with her uncle, grown desperate with the emergency 
of her situation, she would have made an effort — and 
unquestionably, under the circumstances, a fruitless 
one — to escape ; but on trying her room door she 
found that it was locked. And thus it happened. 
At Torino's direction the woman Elise had followed 
the young girl up stairs, and turned the key upon 
her. And then he felt secure of her. Not for a 
moment did he think that she would attempt to escape 
by the window, or that any outside effort would be 
made to release her. Kenneth dead — as he imagined 
— there was little danger of such a contingency as the 
latter. If he had thought otherwise, Viola would have 
been removed to some other and more secure apart- 
ment. Nor did the young girl think of escaping by 
the window ; in truth, without some aid she was une- 
qual to such a task. 

Directly after Viola disappeared within the room, 
Kenneth — who could see the movements that were 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 215 

made, thougli indistinctly — called to the negro, and 
Scipio quietly retraced his steps to where his master 
was concealed. 

'' If I understood rightly, Scipio, the young lady has 
credited your story,'' whispered Kenneth. 

" She hab, Marster Egaton," rejoined the negro, 
sententiously. " An' she am now gederin' up sura o' 
her gownds for to tie togedder, as you 'rected. But, 
Marster Egaton, did you ebber see it rain so funnel 
hard afore ?" 

** The storm is very heavy," rejoined Kenneth. 
''But still we should not complain, for in every way 
it favors us greatly. Should any one within the house 
happen to hear us, the noise wall most probably be 
attributed to the rushing of the wind and rain, and it 
is not likely that there is any one watching outside. 
But we must no longer parley about the storm. It 
cannot now be a great while before the absent men 
will return, and should they arrive before we are off, 
the consequences may prove of the most fatal char- 
acter. I would die rather than surrender Viola, and 
what could we two do in a hand to hand encounter 
against five ? and that number, we have seen, would 
certainly be opposed to us." 

" Rudder long odds, Marster Egaton," responded 
Scipio. 

" Yes, too much for us to risk, if we can possibly 
avoid it. But, come, let us approach the house. I 



216 Viola Hastings; or^ 

will go with you now. As soon as you are in the 
young lady's apartment lower her down. I will 
stand beneath to receire her." 

After listening a moment, .Kenneth and Scipio 
cautiously approached the house, striking directly 
across the open space in the neighborhood of Viola's 
apartment. Their place of concealment happened 
to lay opposite the south-east corner of the house, 
while Viola's room was situated in the north-east 
corner. Kenneth then stationed himself close up 
against the wall ; but Scipio stood further out and 
more exposed to view. Almost immediately after 
they reached the spot, Viola reappeared at the win- 
dow, and cautiously scrutinized the level space be- 
neath her. 

" Hist I" said Scipio. " I'se yere. Missus. Hab 
you got de tings ready ?" 

" I have," responded Viola, her voice shaking with 
the variety of her emotions. 

'' Am dey 'trong ?" 

" Yes." 

'' Den make um fast dar, an' lower away." 

"It is fast," responded the young girl, as she 
lowered down the substitute for a rope. " Now, 
heaven help you, if you be true and honest!" 

Scipio caught the end as soon as it came within 
his reach, and bracing his feet against the wall, he 
began to make the ascent. Kenneth watched the 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 217 

began to make the ascent. Kenneth watched the 
sure footed and powerful fellow with painful anxiety. 
At last he reached the window, and throwing his legs 
across the sill, he disappeared within the room. 
We will follow him. 



218 Viola Hastings; or, 



CHAPTER XXX. 

viola's ESCAPE CONTINUED. — ALMOST DISCOVERED. — FREE AT LAST. 
— CROSSING THE SCHUYLKILL. 

Fob a moment after his feet touched the floor, the 
negro remained motionless, panting for breath. The 
ascent Had been an arduous one, and it had taxed 
even his iron nerves. Viola silently regarded him 
with feelings too full for utterance. Was it indeed 
liberty that he brought her ? or was it some other 
trick to lure her into greater danger ? These thoughts 
swept through the young girl's mind. 

^* De high golly, Missus, but dat was hard work," 
said Scipio, at length, in a whisper. 

Then turning to the window he began quickly to 
draw in the line, saying — 

" Missus, we mus' be quick afore sumbody cotch 
us. Dat's so, now !" 

" But my uncle !" rejoined Viola, breathlessly. 
" Should he discover us — and I fear he may — he 
would murder us all, I feel convinced.'^ 

" Fine ole man, dat uncle o' yourn, I'se no doubt," 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 219 

rejoined Scipio, " But you see, Marster — he's down 
dar waitin' for you ; an' a boat's down to the ribber 
dar waitin' for us all — Marster, he 'ticed him an' two 
udder fellers away, so dat de coast would be purty 
clear. Dat's so 1" 

"• Away I Uncle and Ferdinand away I" muttered 
Viola, bewildered by the passing events. 

'' Free fellers went away, 'cause I seed um go ; 
an' Marster he sent the 'pistle w^hat 'ticed um away." 

" But who is your master ?" Viola inquired, eager- 
ly. Then pressing her hand to her forehead, she 
continued, as if communing with herself — '4t is 
strange who could feel such an interest in my be- 
half ; and stranger still who could be so familiar with 
my hapless condition. I know not what to think. 
What if it be but a plot concealing some greater 
danger ? Greater danger ! Can I be in greater 
danger than I have been ? than I am in here ? And 
this man seems honest I He knew Kenneth, too I 
Shall I not run the risk ?" 

Viola had thus expressed herself aloud, and as her 
words struck on the negro's ears, his eyes distended 
with astonishment. 

"• Dis ain't no plot," he said. " Pat is, 'taint no plot 
to hurt you, Missus. An' as for dis niggar's bein* 
honest, dat's shu. 'Sides dar's Marster Ega " 

Scipio suddenly called to mind Kenneth's caution, 
and came to a dead pause ; but Viola — ^now more 



220 Viola Hastings; or, 

fully alive than before to every word that was spo- 
ken — had caught the half-uttered name, and her face 
expressed the varied emotions that it conjured up. 

" Wlio, who, did you say ?" she inquired, in a 
breathless whisper. ^' Tell me, who is your master, 
and who waits for me ? Tell me, or I cannot trust 
myself from this room !'^ 

*' Well, now, Marster tole me not to. Missus, 'kase 
it might '{eve wid our 'scape. But ef you won't 
'lieve me, an'ell jest keep still, an' not holler, an' be 
mighty quick, I'll whisper him to you." 

*' Anything ! everything !" rejoined Viola, breath- 
lessly. " Only, in mercy relieve me from this sus- 
pense." 

First drawing up close to the young girl — who 
stood there the very picture of anxious expectation 
— Scipio then brought his mouth in immediate proxim- 
ity with her ear, and whispered — 

" Now take car, Missus. 'Member what I tole you, 
an' dun you holler." 

" Go on !" murmured Viola, intensely. 

" "Well, you see," continued Scipio, in the lowest 
possible whisper, as if he thought that speaking so 
would prevent his communication from having too 
great an effect — " you see, Marster Egaton warn't 
killed as dey fought ; an' he's down dar under de 
winder waitin' for you." 

A loud, piercing shriek, not of agony, but of over- 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 221 

powering emotions, burst through Viola's white lips, 
and rang throughout the old house ; and then the 
young girl sank unconsciously to the floor. Thus 
was precipitated the very catastrophe which Ken- 
neth had endeavored to avoid. 

Scipio started, and gazed around with wild amaze- 
ment. So bewildered was he that he knew not what 
to do, and his first impulse was to jump out of the 
window. 

" De high golly 1" he cried. " Ef dis yere ain't 
'funnelly unfortenit. What'll Marster Egaton say, 
now ? An' what'll we do yere ?" 

Viola had already began to display some signs of 
reviving ; and at the same moment the clatter of 
footsteps was heard upon the stairs, though as yet 
some distance off. 

In perfect desperation, Scipio started forward, and 
raising Viola from the floor, he placed her upright 
on a chair ; then shaking the young girl violently, 
he whispered quickly — 

'' For de lub o' Hebben, Missus, try to 'fleet. Dar's 
sumbody ' cummin up stars. Make sum 'scuse to 
'ceive dem !" 

Then leaving the young girl — who was fast return- 
ing to a consciousness of her position — with light- 
ning speed he dashed the knotted clothing under the 
bed, and panting from the excitement, and the ve- 
locity of his motions, rolled himself after them, the 



222 Viola Hastings ; or, 

valance effectually concealing him from view. He 
had barely accomplished this when the door of the 
apartment opened, and into the room hurried Marco, 
and the woman Elise, wonder and astonishment de- 
picted upon their faces. 

" Was it not you, Miss Yiola, who screamed so 
dreadfully?" inquired Elise, in hurried tones. 

" It was," responded the young girl, who had now 
summoned all her faculties to her assistance, and was 
revolving in her mind some suitable excuse. 

" Why, what caused you to do so ? Did anything 
frighten you ?" 

" The window, too, is open, and the storm beating 
in hard," said Marco to Elise ; and at the same time 
he turned to the window, and lowered the sash. 
" May I ask. Miss Viola," he continued, turning to 
the young girl, " why you should have your window 
open on such a night as this ?" 

Viola's heart beat fast and furious, but still she 
managed to answer calmly — 

" I was terribly frightened. I felt sick, and thought 
I would open the window to get a little air ; and 
while I was in the act, a flash of lightning suddenly 
shot athwart the sky, and totally I linded me. It was 
so sudden and powerful as to make me scream out. 
But I am over it now." And then in her own mind 
'she said — ** God forgive the falsehood !" 

And with her, we too may hope that He pardoned 



Tlie Triwmp^v of Love and Faith. 223 



the utterance of that which probably could only save 
her life, or preserve her from a fate worse even than 
death. 

" 0, that was all, was it?" muttered Marco, all his 
suspicions allayed by Viola's apparently ingenuous 
manner. " Better not go to the window again. Come, 
Elise," he continued, addressing the woman, and turn- 
ing towards the door. 

" Do you wish any help ? or would you like me to 
stay with you?'' inquired Elise of Yiola. 

'' Thank you, nothing. It is all over now, and I 
would prefer being alone," responded the young girl, 
anxious to get rid of the woman", and yet afraid to 
betray too great a desire for fear of arousing suspi- 
cion. " It was only a momentary fright, which has 
passed off as quickly as it took possession of me." 

" Well, just as you say," rejoined the woman. 

Marco and Elise then quitted the apartment ; and 
Viola threw herself forward and listened to hear 
whether they locked the door, which she now hoped 
they would. Slowly but surely the key turned, and 
at the sound the young girl's heart beat easier. 
Then she heard the pit-a-pat of their feet as they 
descended the softly carpeted stairs. 

It may be well to remark here that under other 
circumstances Viola's scream would have passed by 
unheeded — that is, by the domestics. But as her 
uncle was absent they were at a loss to account for 



224 Viola Hastings; or, 

the outburst, and hence felt it their duty to inquire 
into the matter. The result we have seen. 

Meanwhile Kenneth was in a state of horrible 
alarm and anxiety. Looking anxiously for the descent 
of Viola, the sudden scream struck upon his ear like 
a death knell. 

" Gracious Heaven, what is that?" he exclaimed, in 
the most alarming tones. " 0, what can have hap- 
pened ? What shall I do ?" 

For a moment he stood motionless, as if bereft of 
every faculty. Then he turned his face up to the 
window, and called quickly on Scipio — but there was 
no response. Then the bustle which had followed 
the scream — and which had reached his ears — ceased, 
and all was quiet. After waiting a few seconds, he 
retraced his steps quickly, and cautiously, to his 
hiding place among the trees. 

" I had better be calm and wait a little,'^ he said, 
mentally. *' Things may yet come off better than I 
suppose. The storm, and many other circumstances 
combined, may even yet mislead the people about the 
house. In fact, the rushing of the wind and rain may 
even entirely drown the scream. I must not be pre- 
cipitate, hard as it is to remain quiet under'^such an 
uncertainty. But of one thing I am determined" — 
and he set his teeth, and clenched his hands ; — " I 
will not leave here without Viola, if I have to beard 
them all." 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 225 

With his eyes fixed intently on the window of 
Viola's room we will leave Kenneth, and return to the 
3'oung girFs apartment. 

As soon as Marco and Elise had vanished, Scipio 
thrust out his great woolly head from beneath the bed, 
his eyes sparkling with satisfaction. 

*^ Am dey clar gone. Missus ?" he inquired, in a 
whisper. 

" 0, yes," responded Viola, now again breathless 
with anxiety. " They are out of hearing.'' 

" Berry fortenit dat dey didn't 'spec noting," he 
continued, crawling out. " You dun most spile 
ebbery ting, Missus. De high golly, but we was a 
most in a fix. I fought dis niggar's time had cum, shu. 
You dun gib a purty good 'sense, howsomdever. 
Dat's so !" 

" 0, yes ; but come, let us be quick now," rejoined 
Viola, eagerly. " My uncle may return, or the people 
about the house grow suspicious, and watch. You 
cannot imagine what bad creatures they are — I never 
did till lately — and from what a terrible fate you are 
helping me to escape. Come, let us away, while yet 
there may be a chance." 

"Dey's not berry highly spoken ub, I 'lieve," 
returned Scipio, very seriously. " I'se heerd Marster 
Egaton spoke o' dem. Missus." 

'' Dear Kenneth !" murmured the young girl, clasp- 

10* 



226 Viola Hastings; or, 

ing her hands together with sudden joy. " Come, 
come, let us go !" 

" Ef you hadn^t hollered so, Missus, we^d a bin away 
afore dis yere time. ^Spec Marster Egaton gib me 
Jessie for tellin' you.'' 

" 0, I could not help it," returned Viola, earnestly. 
" The joyful news was too much for my poor weak 
brain. But, 0, come, don't let us delay now !" 

" Well, we won't. Missus. But jest you stay dar, 
an' keep berry quiet, while I 'connoiter. Fust I'll 
put out dis yere light, fo' fea' dat sumbody might be 
out dar," — and he pointed through the window — 
" dat it wouldn't be agee'able to scrape eny 'quain- 
tance wid jest now. We can see jest as well in de 
dark, doe sum folks mightn't tink so. Dat's so !" 

Viola made no objection ; and, after extinguishing 
the light, Scipio cautiously approached the window, 
raised the sash, and looked down. Nothing was to 
be seen or heard, but the rainy mist, and the rushing 
of water. As the negro put forth his head a heavy 
clap of thunder reverberated far and near, seeming 
to shake the very foundations of the earth, and a 
vivid flash of lightning rendered everything visible. 
Kenneth — who had never removed his eyes from the 
window — instantly caught sight of the black, and 
started towards the house. Scipio heard the foot- 
steps, and very correctly judging it to te his master, 
exclaimed — 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 227 

^' Hist !^' 

" Hist !'^ responded Kenneth. 

" Am dat you, Marster Egaton ?" Scipio inquired, 
in a low whisper. 

" Yes. But have you been discovered V^ 

'' Not 'xactly, Marster Egaton ; but a berry close 
shabe. Shall I lower de lady ?'' 

'' Yes ; and be quick. It is getting very late." 

A few seconds passed, and then Viola, carefully 
wrapped up, was lowered into Kenneth's arms. 

" Dear, dear Kenneth," murmured the young girl, 
clasping him tightly around the neck, and with the 
sudden rush of joy, swooning. 

*' Dear Viola !" responded the manly youth, as he 
pressed her to his bosom, and hurried across the 
clearing towards the hill. 

Scipio was not slow in following his master's foot- 
steps. Half way down the descent he caught up 
with Kenneth, whose progress — in consequence of 
his burden, and the care that was absolutely neces- 
sary to descend the hill — was slow. 

'^ Did you hear any alarm, Scipio ?" inquired Ken- 
neth. 

" Not a speck, Marster Egaton." 

'' That is well, now hasten on and prepare the 
boat. We are not entirely out of danger, for we may 
yet be missed, discovered, and pursued." 

By the time Kenneth reached the beach, the negro 



228 Viola Hastings; or, 

had the boat all in readiness. After carefully pla- 
cing Viola in the bow, the two took their seats, and 
the boat was pushed oflF. By this time the storm had 
begun to ease up a trifle, but the waters of the river 
were exceedingly swollen and turbulent ; and the 
sullen roar of the dam, which was not over a mile 
below that spot, sounded like the rumbling of dis- 
tant thunder. And still Yiola remained unconscious. 

" The river is very much swollen, '^ said Kenneth, 
as they pushed from the beach ; " and the current 
sets towards the dam wildly. We will make right 
across the stream, Scipio, for even then we shall not, 
probably, touch the shore for a half a mile below this 
point ; and that will bring us quite near enough to 
the dam, in its present condition, for our safety. 
Now pull away strongly. ^^ 

At that moment the bells of the distant city pealed 
forth the hour of eleven. 

*' Eleben o'clock,'^ said Scipio, as he bent to the 
oar. 

" It is so," rejoined Kenneth. " Viola's uncle must 
surely have got back, or nearly so. Would we were 
on the other side. Pull away, Scipio." 

Despite the strong strokes of Kenneth and the 
negro, the boat went down with the tide, much faster 
than it made across the stream. In consequence of 
the darkness, and the falling rain, and the mist aris- 
ing from the river, it was almost impossible to dis- 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 229 

cern objects more than a few feet distant. And 
every moment the roaring of the dam grew louder 
and more distinct. 

'' Hark !'' cried Kenneth, suddenly. '' Wasn't that 
the dipping of oars ?" 

" Fo' shu', Marster," rejoined Scipio ; and both 
held up their oars while they listened. " Berry 
close, too." 

" The sound comes from the east,'' continued Ken- 
neth. " It cannot, therefore, be any one in pursuit of 
us." 

Almost as he uttered these words, another row- 
boat, evidently making for the west side of the 
stream, shot close alongside of them ; the bow of the 
one falling to the stern of the other, in which posi- 
tion both remained fixed ; and, being entirely at the 
mercy of the tide, floated rapidly down the river. 



230 Viola Hastings; or. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

THE JESUIT, FERDINAND AND FATHER RENOUF ON THEIR WAY TO 
THE CITY. — THE DISCOVERY OF THE TRICK. — THE RETURN TO THE 
OLD MANSION HOUSE. — CROSSING THE SCHUYLKILL. — COLLISION 
BETWEEN THE BOATS. 

Now let us go back a little. 

The distance from the old mansion house to the 
first bridge that crossed the river Schuylkill — an 
enclosed wooden structure which was afterwards 
destroyed by fire, and replaced by an elegant and 
substantial open wire bridge — was, by a direct line, 
about a mile ; but by the usual sinuous path it was 
full half as much again ; consequently Torillo and the 
others were some time in reachin"g even that point, 
their progress being also much impeded by the dark- 
ness of the night, and the bad condition of the road. 
Before they reached the bridge the rain had begun 
to pour down, and many and various were the impre- 
cations which they unsparingly bestowed upon the 
weather and the road. 

When at length they found themselves beneath the 



The Triumph of Love and Fcith. 231 

roof of the bridge, they stopped and shook the water 
from their clothing. By that time they were neither 
^f them in a very enviable condition of mind. 

^' Hadn^t we better turn back V^ inquired the priest, 
addressing Torillo. " This is an unusually heavy 
storm ; and, no doubt, it will continue for some time. 
We are already drenched through. If you don^t go 
to-night, the writer of that note, if he is really in 
earnest, will, doubtless, seek some other occasion, or 
some other way, to communicate his business." 

" Now, by the Virgin, priest, the storm but quick- 
ens my determination !" exclaimed Torillo, stub- 
bornly. 

" But may we not be neglecting more important 
matters in following this chase ?" asked Ferdinand, 
with every show of respect ; for, while he was anxious 
to turn back, he yet feared, at that time, to cross 
any of his father's whims. 

"Have I not waited long years?" responded 
Torillo, savagely. " Ther can I not wait a few hours 
longer, if need be ?" 

'' But is it not imprudent to leave home under such 
circumstances ?" continued the priest ; his opposition 
arising as much from his dislike for the trouble, as 
any hope of gain. " You know not what might occur 
during your absence." 

Still Torillo persevered — inexorable destiny relemt- 
lessly driving him onward. ' And that the opposition 



232 Viola Hastings ; or, 

Avhich his son and the priest manifested but set his 
purpose more unwaveringly there is no doubt. 

" Peace, with all this croaking !" he cried, in reply 
to the priest. '' Everything is safe at the house, and 
will keep so until we return. Why, what fools you 
are to be surniising so much danger 1 Where can it 
come from ? But enough of this I If you go with 
me, come on ! — if you do not, go back ! I care but 
little !^' 

Again Torillo started quickly forward, and in a few 
moments the outline of his form was lost in the dark- 
ness of the bridge. 

" Curse it !^^ muttered Ferdinand. " I suppose we 
must follow him !'' 

" Better !" responded the priest ; and the two then 
started forward. 

At the east end of the bridge Torillo hailed a hack 
that happened to be standing there ; and, after giving 

the driver directions to convey him to Hotel, 

jumped in. The next moment Ferdinand and the 
priest came up, and,^ without uttering a word, also 
leaped into the vehicle. 

" Drive on, there 1" shouted Torillo ; and the next 
moment the hack was in motion. 

From the bridge to Hotel — which was in the 

very heart of the city — was near about two miles ; 
and owing to the rain, which now beat down furiously, 
the driver — whose horses, as is generally the case, 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 233 

were miserable, worn-out animals — made but slow 
progress. He cursed, and cracked his whip to no 
effect, for the poor brutes were doing their best. In 
time, however, they reached the hotel, and the three 
men alighted. Torillo led the way up the marble 
steps, and into the building. Hailing a white jack- 
etted domestic, he demanded to be shown to Mr. 
Albert Summerfield's room, for, strange as it may 
seem, considering the character of the man, and his 
familiarity with tricks and schemes, he did not believe 
the letter to be a cheat ; or rather was blind to its 
true design. 

'' Who, sir ?" queried the man addressed. 

" Mr. Albert Summerfield," Torillo repeated, impa- 
tiently. 

" Don't know him, sir. Better inquire at the desk," 
continued the man, pointing to the corner occupied 
by the book-keeper, and then turning away. 

Torillo strode across the room to the place desig- 
nated. 

*' I am inquiring for Mr. Albert Summerfield,'' he 
said. 

The book-keeper ran his eye over the volume con- 
taining the list of arrivals, and then said — 

" There is no such person staying here, sir." 

" Why, sir, I have an appointment to call upon 
him at this hotel 1" continued Torillo, holding forth 
the letter, and pointing to it ; loth to believe that ho 



234 ^^iola Hastings; or, 

had been misled, though the truth was beginning to 
dawn on his mind. 

" Well, sir, there is the book, and you may see for 
yourself that there is no such name registered in it." 

The man turned away to attend to another person 
who had come up in the, mean time ; and Torillo 
bent over the book, and began to peruse the list of 
arrivals. 

Ferdinand and the priest had dropped into seats 
some little distance off ; and the former now whisper- 
ed to the latter — 

" Did your reverence hear that ?" 

" I did," rejoined the priest, with a meaning shake 
of the head. 

^' There's no such person staying here, it seems.'' 

" After all the letter turns out to be a decoy. Just 
as I thought, however, though what prompted the 
feeling, I can't say. But who, think you, can be the 
writer ? arid what can be his design ?" 

" I cannot imagine," responded Ferdinand. " But 
I fear that it is in some way connected with Yiola. 
Let us speak to the old man, and urge our return to 
the house, at once." 

Before the sound of Ferdinand's voice had died 
away, Torillo uttered a loud, sharp cry — to the as- 
tonishment of all present — and wildly rushed from 
the room. Ferdinand and the priest exchanged a 
wondering glance, and quickly followed after him. 



The Triumph y Love and Faith. 235 

The cause of Torillo's alarm may be speedily ex- 
plained. • In conning over the list of arrivals he had 
at length come to the following : — 

Lieut. Kenneth Egerton, U. S. Navy. 

" Ho, driver I" he shouted, as he emerged into the 
air, to the hackman who was still standing in front 
of the hotel. 

'' On hand, yer honor I" responded the man, as he 
dashed down the steps of his vehicle. 

" Back again to where you took us up I and, fast ! 
fast I fast !" Torillo ejaculated vehemently, at the 
some moment leaping into the hack. 

Almost at the same time, Ferdinand and the priest 
came running down the steps. 

" In ! in ! in !" cried Torillo, in a hoarse whisper. 
" The fiend is abroad, and there's danger afoot 1" 

Astonished and puzzled, Ferdinand and the priest 
instantly complied. 

Directly the vehicle was rattling along in a north- 
westerly direction. 

Before either Ferdinand or the priest could utter 
a word of inquiry, Torillo hissed out — 

^' Can the grave give back its dead ?" 

" What do you mean, father, by such a question ?" 
demanded Ferdinand, ill-naturedly. " And what's 
the matter with you, that you act in such a maniacal 
manner ?" 



236 Viola Hastings ; or, 

• « . 

*' Can the grave give back its dead, I ask ?" Torillo 
repeated, intensely. 

" No I" uttered both Ferdinand and the priest, in 
the same breath. 

'' A lie !" shouted Torillo, his countenance working 
with the most dreadful emotion. " A lie ! a lie 1 — 
for Jie has come back to blast me — he has cast off the 
sod, and arisen from the grave. Already I feel his 
iron hands about my throat — already I hear his voice 
yelling in my ear, * Retribution ! Eetribution I' " 

There was a moment's pause, during w^hich Torillo 
writhed and twisted like one possessed. Then his 
disordered brain conjured up another source of fear, 
and he continued — 

" Will she, too, come back, to bear witness against 
me ? Holy Mother, another voice cries in my ear, 
* Retribution ! Retribution !' It is her's 1 it is my 
wife's I And here are more ! more ! more ! glaring 
on me with their livid faces !" 

'' What, in the Virgin's name, ails you ?" cried Fer- 
dinand, seizing his father by the arm, and shaking 
him roughly. " You talk like either a fool or a mad- 
man !" 

" Off, boy, off! — there are hands enough already 
upon me !" and Torillo shook himself loose from the 
grasp of his son. " Look you, Ferdinand !" he con- 
tinued, wildly; — "I sav ^l.e grave gives back its 
dead : and Marie Sem-^Ier will yet come and 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 237 



shout in your ear, " Retribution I Retribution V The 
grave don^t hold people any more, I say, for he has 
come back ; — and so will she^ and murdered Marie !" 

"• Peace, peace, you old fool !^' shouted Ferdinand, 
beside himself with the fearful thoughts which his 
father's words had conjured up. " Let the past 
rest undisturbed, or, by the Holy Virgin, Fll send 
you to keep Marie company I^' and with the grip of a 
desperate man, he clutched his father by the throat. 
Torillo, too, with all the fury of a madman, seized his 
son by the throat ; and there was every prospect of 
a bloody and murderous scene. The terrible, un- 
compromising fiend. Remorse, was busy with the 
heart-strings of both. 

" Are you both mad V^ cried the priest, suddenly ; 
by a desperate efi'ort separating the half crazy, blood- 
thirsty men. *' By the mass, if there is danger, this 
is no way to meet it ! Have you lost your wits, both 
of you?" 

There was a momentary lull in the storm of raging 
passions ; and then the pr'est, fixing his gaze upon 
Torillo, demanded, quickly and anxiously, — 

" What is this that you are raving about ? Who 
has come back ?" 

" The accursed heretic — Viola's lover !'' responded 
Torillo, yelling the words out in the most frantical 
manner. 

*' How do you know this^ Pedro ? Was his name 



238 Viola Hastings; or^ 

among the list of arrivals ?" continued the priest, the 
only cool-headed one among the party. 

" It was !" rejoined Torillo, clutching the priest by 
the arm, and still speaking wildly. " I saw it with 
my own eyes ; and yet I could have sworn that I 
stabbed him to the heart — that I saw him die. Even 
now I can see his ghastly face — can hear his voice as 
he cried, ^ I am murcJered ! I am murdered I' " 

'' Is it so ? Then there is trouble brewing 1" said 
the priest, speaking quickly, but coolly. " If that 
man lives, it is but reasonable to suppose that he will 
soon denounce you, if he has got, or can get, any clue 
to your identity. But this is no way to'meet danger ! 
Have you forgotten yourself? Shall a good and^ 
faithful servant of the Holy Church like you, fear 
one heretic, or even a thousand of them, when so 
many ways are open to circumvent them ? Are not 
we powerful ? And cannot we save as well as pun- 
ish ? Away with these idle fantasies and be your- 
self! All is not yet lost !'' 

The appeal of the confident priest had its desired 
effect upon Torillo, whose livid face began gradually 
to assume its usual expression. 

During this time Ferdinand had remained buried 
in the corner, gloomy and sullen. The priest, after 
a moment's pause, turned from Torillo to him, and 
said, — • 

" And you, too, Ferdinand, for shame 1 By the Im- 



The Triumph of Love and Faith, 239 



maculate Virgin I will you also let the phantoms of 
an idle fear paralyze your eiBforts, when union and 
strength may be most needed to retain a rich prize, 
and save yourselves from the iron grip of the law ? 
It is well I did come along, or, like madmen, you 
would have run your necks into the hangman's noose, 
or cut your own throats. I never before knew either 
of you to act so much like fools 1'' 

Torillo and Ferdinand had gradually cooled down, 
and now were more like themselves. 

" But what means your reverence ?" they demand- 
ed, eagerly, and in the same breath. 

" Mean !" responded the priest, with every show 
of astonishment ; " mean ! What a question 1 Have 
your wits indeed flown ? Has it not struck either 
of you that this has been but a plot to draw you away 
from the house, while some attempt was made to 
rescue Viola ? Have you, Ferdinand, forgotten en- 
tirely the fear you expressed while in the hotel ? ' 

" I begin to see now !" muttered Ferdinand, work- 
ing his fingers with excitement. " Other thoughts, 
for a time, drove it out of my mind. Curse upon 
the chance that took us all away from the house ! ' 

" It's all plain 1" joined in Torillo, bitterly. " Fool 
^that I was to fall so easily in the trap ! Never be- 
fore was I so duped I But we must redeem the past. 
All may not yet be lost. The house is well watched, 
and we may yet be in time to prevent Viola's escape. 



240 Viola Hastings ; or. 

If so, we will silence her tongue at once — without 
a moment's delay — and then look to the money and 
our own safety." 

" But should Viola escape from the house," re- 
sponded Ferdinand, " we shall not only lose a rich 
prize, but, by the Virgin Mother 1 we shall stai^d in 
the greatest personal danger. She knows that now 
which we were fools to let her jever get acquainted 
with. What a witness she would be against us !" 

" 0, if I but had her here !^' muttered Torillo, 
fiendishly ; ^' if I but had her here^^ — and his fingers 
worked with the dark thought — " I^d quickly put her 
beyond the chance of doing anybody harm.'' 

" Whatever may be the position of matters at the 
house," remarked the priest, " it won't do for this 
part of the world to know you much longer. If 
Viola has escaped, she will, no doubt, after what has 
passed, inform upon you ; if, on the contrary, she 
has not escaped, there is *yet, unfortunately for you, 
that young sailor to fear. Both ways there is trouble 
ahead. You must leave here for awhile, at least." 

At that moment the vehicle stopped, and the next 
the driver opened the door, and inquired which road 
he should take. 

" Where are we ?" demanded Torillo. 

" At the bridge, ye'r honor !" 

" Then drive over and follow the road until we 



The Triumph of La.^ and Faith. 241 

give you further directions. And, mark you, drive 
fast ! fast I You shall be well paid." 

" All right, yeV honor," said the man, as he quick- 
ly proceeded to close the door. 

" Stop !" cried Ferdinand, suddenly, to the driver ; 
and the man paused, with the door nearly shut. 
Then turning to his father, he continued, — " By the 
road we shall only lose time. I wonder that you 
thought not of it !" 

" Which way shall we take, then ?" demanded To- 
rillo, impatiently. 

" It will be a much quicker way to cross the river 
from a point opposite the house. I know where a 
boat may easily be found." 

" Any way, though it be through purgatory, so we 
reach there quickly !" 

" But the river must be much swollen by this 
heavy rain ; and the current is, doubtless, running 
down strongly. It will be a dangerous experiment, 
I forewarn you. Hark ! how the water roars over 
the dam," remarked the less reckless priest. 

" Neither the river nor the dam has any terror for 
me !" cried Torillo. " The risk of encountering them 
is nothing to the chance of catching Viola. I would 
face the devil himself ere I'd lose her !" 

" As you will," rejoined the priest, half angrily. 
'* Listen to no advice, but follow your own headstrong 

11 



242 Viola Hastings ; or^ 



way. I shall, however, take the usual road. .No 
doubt I shall reach the house as soon as you do." 

*'A good suggestion, your reverence," remarked 
Ferdinand, who was now much cooler than might 
have been expected. " By taking the highway to 
the house, you may probably render us some assist- 
ance. We none of us know what has happened ; and 
should a rescue have been accomplished, you might 
meet the runaways on the road, and so put us on the 
scent. Away now, and look sharp 1'' Then turning 
to the driver, who stood with eyes and mouth agape, 
wondering what it all meant, he added, — " And now, 
driver, take the road, and keep up along the shore 
until we tell you to stop ; and drive just as fast as 
you can." 

The priest had now alighted ; and as Ferdinand 
ceased speaking, the driver closed the door, remount- 
ed his box, and drove off. 

And still the rain continued pouring down, and 
the river roared ; and occasionally the booming 
thunder reverberated far and near ; and the vivid 
lightning lit up all the surrounding scene. 

As the carriage drove rapidly away, the priest 
turned into the bridge, cursing at the madness of the 
others in attempting to cross the swollen and turbu- 
lent river. 

At a point nearly opposite the old mansion house, 
Ferdinand, who was on the qui vive^ stopped the 



The Triumph of Love and Faith, 243 

carriage and alighted, followed quickly by his father. 
The hackman was then paid and discharged ; and, 
as the man turned off and retraced the path he had 
come, Ferdinand and Torillo — the former leading — 
started swiftly down toward the beach, 

A boat was soon found ; and, amid the pelting 
rain, the two men pushed off into the rushing stream, 
which, as with Kenneth and Scipio, carried them 
down much faster than they made across. 

Just as they pushed out the clock of the city 
struck eleven. 

^^ Eleven o'clock," muttered Torillo, bending to the 
oars. " The hour is getting late." 

" The more reason to pull hard," responded Ferdi- 
nand. " At the best, we shall make but slow work 
against this tide. Pull hard, now, father, or, by th^ 
Virgin! it will be difficult to tell where w^e shall 
land.'* 

Some time now passed in silence, or was broken 
only by muttered curses ; when at length Torillo — 
whose quick ear had caught the sound of an ap- 
proaching boat — exclaimed suddenly, — 

" There is a boat drawing near us ! Hold up your 
oars and listen !" 

Another brief period of silence ensued. 

" There is that !" responded Ferdinand, whose ear 
had now also caught the dipping of oars. " It is 



244 Viola Hastings; or, 

coining from the other side. It nears us fast, too. 
Who can it be ?" 

The next moment the two boats ran together, side 
to side, as we have already described. 

Both boats being now at the mercy of the tide, 
they immediately swung round, by the movement 
bringing the bow of the boat just referred to up 
etream, and the bow of the other down. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 245 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

THE RENCOUNTER ON THE SCHUYLKILL. — THE STRUGGLE. — GOING 
OVER THE DAM. — DEATH OF THE JESUIT AND FERDINAND. — 
ESCAPE OF VIOLA. KENNETH AND SCIPIO. 

As the boats swung round — which was almost at 
the same moment that they scraped together — a 
bright flash of lightning illuminated the whole scene, 
reveding their position to each of the parties. 

During that instant the four men had caught a 
quick glimpse of each other. 

" 'Tis he I'' yelled Torillo, dropping his oars, and 
springing to his feet. 

" Who ?" shouted back Ferdinand, also springing 
up. 

" Yiola's lover I" screamed Torillo, with all the 
wildness of a maniac. 

" Torillo 1" shouted Kenneth, as he too leaped to 
his feet. 

" My uncle I" cried Viola, who at this moment re- 
vived and raised herself half up. 

" De high golly, yere's a go I^' joined in the negro, 
opening his eyes to their fullest capacity. 



246 Fiola Hastings; or, 

The utterance of all these varied expressions had 
not occupied a minute. With lightning rapidity 
they had fallen from the lips of those five strangely, 
fearfully situated beings. Following them was a 
moment of deep and intense silence ; and then an- 
other vivid flash of lightning, accompanied by a 
deafening peal of heaven^s artillery, again illuminated 
the whole scene, and revealed them all glaring waldly, 
though from different emotions, at each other. 

And all the while the rain beat down heavily, and 
the mad spirits of the river yelled furiously. 

And all the while, too, the boats were drifting 
down, down, down towards the roaring dam. 

" Accursed heretic, you are foiled !^' again scream- 
ed Torillo. " By the Holy Virgin, you shall not now 
escape me I" 

" Murdering papist !" shouted back Kenneth, des- 
perate with the exigency of his situation ; " that 
God who has prospered me thus far will not desert 
me now!'' 

And then the two men, with a simultaneous move- 
ment, caught each other by the throat. 

" Quick, Ferdinand, seize the girl!" cried Torillo, 
tightening his grasp upon Kenneth. 

" Scipio !" shouted Kenneth, madly. 

Quick as w^as Ferdinand's spring towards Viola, 
the watchful negro was by her side first. Clutching 
his antagonist by the throat, Scipio cried out — 



The Triumph of Love cid Faith, 247 



" Not 'xactly,you funnel tief I Fse yere, I is I" 

Ferdinand now seized hold of the negro, and ihusr 
firmly grappled together the four men stood. 

" Draw, Ferdinand, draw 1'^ shouted Torillo, furious 
at the opposition which they met. " Kill the ac- 
cursed hounds — kill them 1" 

The next moment all four of the men had drawn 
their keen, glittering knives ; and for Kenneth and 
Scipio it was fortunate that Torillo and his son were 
not provided with weapons of a more fatal descrip- 
tion. As it was, they stood nearly, or quite, upon 
an equality. 

And then commenced a struggle which bafiles all 
description. All four of the men were athletic and 
powerful, and pretty equally matched as to physical 
strength ; and, with the exception of Scipio, tolera- 
bly well versed in the science of defence. And what 
the negro lacked in art, nature fully balanced. For 
a time they tugged, and aimed, and warded — Ken- 
neth and Scipio acting only on the defensive — with- 
out inflicting any injury on each other, more than 
some slight scratches, and without altering their 
relative positions. 

And still the rain poured down ; and the thunder 
bellowed ; and the red lightning flashed, playing in 
jets around their polished and glittering blades. 
And still the river roared, and the boats floated 
faster and faster, and nearer and nearer, to the wild- 



248 Viola Hastings; or^ 

\y rushing dam. And yet those four men — so entire- 
ly absorbed were they by the rencounter — saw it not 
— realized it not. - The unbounded surprise of the 
meeting, together with the events which quickly 
followed, seemed to have driven from their minds all 
recollection of their position. And all the while 
Viola lay crouched down in the bow of Kenneth's 
boat, with breathless interest, watching the fierce 
struggle. And she, too, was so bound up in the 
conflict that she had no thought for anything else. 

And still the fight continued, the men alternately 
swaying backwards and forwards. And while Fer- 
dinand and Torillo cursed and blasphemed, and 
ground their teeth with impotent fury, and called 
upon the Holy Virgin, Kenneth and Scipio en- 
couraged each other by many a cheering exclama- 
tion. 

And still the rushing tide swept the boats onward, 
onward. 

" Curses on you, take that !" yelled Torillo, aiming 
a powerful blow at Kenneth's heart. 

" Not yet 1 my hour has not yet come I" responded 
Kenneth, adroitly fending off the descending blow. 

At the same moment Ferdinand struck wildly at 
the negro, shouting as he did so — 

" Dog of a slave, die !" 

" Not 'xactly, you funnel willin !" responded Scipio, 
receiving the blow aimed at his heart upon his mus- 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 249 



cular arm. Then twisting his head slightly round 
towards Kenneth, he continued — 

" Marster Egaton, ef we don^t stick dese yere fel- 
lers, dey'll do us some mischief, mine I tell ye.'' 

Almost in the same instant, Violo — whose attention 
had been for the first time attracted ahead — uttered 
a loud, piercing, and fearful shriek. 

" The dam ! the dam !" she cried, frantically. 

And there within, probably, fifty yards of them, 
was the rushing, roaring, tumbling waters. 

At the sound of Viola's voice, Kenneth and Scipio 
turned their gaze down the stream. In that un- 
guarded moment, Torillo and Ferdinand, who were 
too intent upon the gratification of their passions to 
heed anything else, by a powerful and sudden move- 
ment, jerked Viola's rescuers from their own boat 
into the one which they themselves occupied. 

The boat, relieved of the weight of Kenneth and 
the negro, and now entirely freed from the other, 
shot down the stream with frightful velocity. 

Kenneth and Scipio looked on astounded ; and so 
intently were the thoughts of all drawn upon Viola 
that they unconsciously relaxed their grasp of each 
other. 

" Ha I ha ! ha I" screamed Torillo, fearfully ; in 

the gratification of his hatred, blind to his own im* 

pending fate. " Accursed heretic I" he continued, 

turning towards Kenneth — " it is your turn now." 

11* 



250 Viola Hastings ; or, 

But the murderer^s arm was stayed. 

In that instant a loud and fearful shriek again rose 
clear and high above the din of the storm, and the 
roar of the waters ; and then a vivid flash of light- 
ning revealed Viola standing erect in the bow of the 
boat, and gazing forward at the dam. 

" Merciful Heaven ! lost I lost ! lost I" cried Ken- 
neth, in tones of deadly agony. " But if I cannot 
save you, Viola, I will die with you !" 

There was a plunge, and Kenneth disappeared be- 
neath the rushing waters. 

" Well, it's 'funnel hard, but I won't 'zert Marster, 
no how I" cried Scipio, plunging in after Kenneth. 

In that moment Torillo and Ferdinand were sud« 
denly, and fully, aroused to a sense of their great 
danger. 

" Father I" cried Ferdinand, in a voice husky with 
terror, " the dam I the dam ! We shall be dashed to 
pieces over the dam I'' 

" To the oars, boy, to the oars 1" returned Torillo, 
now white with fear. " Pull back ! back I" 

Notwithstanding they pulled with all the miracu- 
lous strength of desperation, they made no headway 
against the onward rushing waters ; the tide near 
the dam being then too strong to resist. Down, 
down, down went their boat, despite all their efforts 
to the contrary. 

As they neared the dam, and became fully, though 



The Triumph of Love %nd Faith. 251 

anwillingly, convinced of their inevitable, unescapa- 
ble fate, the miserable men, paralyzed by fear, re- 
laxed all their efforts, and fell upon their knees, call- 
ing frantically upon the Holy Virgin to help them, 
and save them. All, all in vain, however. 

Kenneth arose to the surface of the waters a con- 
siderable distance below where he plunged in ; and 
Scipio^s head appeared almost at the same moment, 
and nearly at the same point. 

" I^se yere, Marster Egaton, I'se yere !" cried Sci- 
pio, spurting the water from his mouth. 

*' The boat, Scipio, the boat T' shouted back Ken- 
neth. " For God^s sake, after it I after it !" 

Both Kenneth and the negro struck out vigorous- 
ly, and aided by the rushing waters, they dashed 
along at a rapid rate. In a few seconds they touch- 
ed the stern of the boat, and by a quick and powerful 
effort succeeded in throwing themselves into it. At 
the same instant a bright flash of lightning revealed 
their position to them. The boat was, for the in- 
stant, poised upon the extreme edge of the dam, and 
Viola, the very impersonation of terror, was still 
standing erect in the bow. Kenneth saw all, and he 
shouted with wild volubility, — 

** Down, Viola, down ! Clasp the boat tightly, and 
hold on for your life ! Now, Scipio, steadily and 
firmly," he continued to the negro ; and as he spoke 



252 Viola Hastings; or, 

the boat shot over the dam into the boiling waters 
beneath. 

Just as they went over, the boat containing To- 
rillo and Ferdinand shot to the edge of the dam, re- 
mained for a moment stationary, and then dashed 
over ; but not being balanced, as the other had been, 
it was almost instantly engulfed in the foaming vor- 
tex. 

The boat in which was Viola and her preservers 
swayed and trembled violently with the plunge, in- 
stantly almost filling with water. For a moment its 
destruction seemed inevitable. But so well had 
Kenneth and the negro trimmed the little craft that 
it finally shot clear of the tumbling waters. 

" Thank God, we are safe !^' cried out Kenneth, 
earnestly. '^ Dear Yiola, are you alive T^ he con- 
, tinned, addressing the young girl. 

There was no answer ; and with a quick beating 
at the heart he hastened to the bow of the boat, 
where Viola lay buried in water. 

" She has fainted,'' he murmured, as he stooped 
down, and felt her warm breath upon his cheek. 
" What a night for one so tender T' 

" But, Marster Egaton, de boat am swamping 1" 
Scipio exclaimed, suddenly. " Golly, we shall be 
drownded yet." 

" I will take the oars, which, fortunately, are still 
safe, and row for the shore, while you bail," respond- 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 253 



ed Kenneth, quickly, at the same time drawing up 
the oars from the bottom of the boat, and fixing 
them in the row-locks. " Be lively now, and we shall 
yet escape." 

Both Kenneth and Scipio set to work with a will ; 
though the latter had nothing but his brawny hands 
with which to scoop out the water. 

Almost before the last words had passed Ken- 
neth's lips, an empty boat shot swiftly past them. 

" Dar goes tudder boat, Marster Egaton," said 
Scipio. 

" Yes ; and empty, too," responded Kenneth. 
" The miserable men have met their fate." 

At the same moment the attention of Kenneth and 
Scipio was attracted towards the boiling waters of 
the dam. Two forms, which a bright flash of light- 
ning revealed distinctly, shot up suddenly out of the 
water ; and then two successive shrieks of the wildest 
agony and terror, mingled with the din of the storm, 
and the roar of the waters. And then they disap- 
peared, and were seen and heard no more. It was 
the last dying effort of Torillo, and his son, Ferdinand. 

" They have perished," murmured Kenneth, again 
plying the oars, which, for a moment, he had permit- 
ted to remain idle. *' God have mercy upon them." 

" De high golly, Marster Egaton, didn't dey holler?" 
eaid Scipio, as again he commenced to ladle out the 
water. 



254 Vida Hastings; or, 

By hard and incessant labor, Kenneth and Scipio 
managed at last to bring the boat ashore. And 
though themselves almost exhausted, strong and mus- 
cular as they were, their first thought was yet of 
Viola, who still continued in a state of unconscious- 
ness. Lifting her gently and carefully from the boat, 
they quickly bore her to an Inn, which, very fortu- 
nately, was not far distant. There the proper reme- 
dies were applied ; and Kenneth had soon the 
unspeakable pleasure of hearing the young girl utter 
his name. And with the knowledge of her safety, 
his full heart overflowed with gratitude and thanks- 
giving. 

As may very naturally be inferred, the danger 
which they had escaped excited the most unbounded 
curiosity, and the warmest sympathy. Manifold were ^ 
the questions with which Kenneth was taxed, to all 
of which he answered — not deeming it either neces- 
sary or advisable to enter into further particulars — 
that in crossing the river they had encountered 
another boat containing two men, and both had gone 
over the dam about the same time. 

The following morning, Kenneth and Viola — the 
latter being sufficiently recovered to be removed — 
accompanied by Scipio, quitted the scene of their 
thrilling adventure ; and some time after the bodies 
of Torillo and Ferdinand were washed ashorp at a 
point considerably below the dam. A rumor of the 



The Triumph of Love and Faith 255 

occurrence, distorted and tortured into every con- 
ceivable shape, soon spread throughout the city. 
Among the first whose ear it reached was Father 
Kenouf ; and the priest immediately repaired to the 
Dead House and recognized the bodies ; and a few 
days subsequently had them interred, with all the 
rites of the Church, in one of the Catholic burying 
grounds of the city. 

That the affair bore a suspicious look, and called 
for an investigation, was unquestionable. Conse- 
quently, Kenneth, Viola, and Scipio, were summoned 
before the proper authorities ; but a calm and impar- 
tial examination of the circumstances immediately 
established Kenneth's innocence, and secured the dis- 
charge of all the parties. 

After the death of Torillo and his son — there being 
then no direct heir to the estate — the domestics 
attached to the old mansion disappeared, and the 
place was shut up. Thus it remained for a number 
of years, and gradually but surely it crumbled away, 
until it was nothing but a mass of ruins. Finally the 
buildings were razed to the ground ; but at whose 
direction never transpired. And great was the won- 
der which people manifested at the numerous deep 
vaults that were discovered beneath the foundation 
of the old house ; and many were the inquiries which 
were made as to what could possibly have been their 
design and use. But many could not tell ; and those 



256 



Viola Hastings; or, 



who could, of course, would not. And greater still 
was the wonder and the excitement when among the 
ruins in the vaults a quantity of human bones were 
discovered ; and though every possible inquiry was 
instituted, nothing could, even irf the remotest man- 
ner, penetrate the mystery. But though nothing 
could be proven, people had tteir thoughts, and they 
were not backward in expressing them. 



The Triumph of Love and Faith. 257 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

TEN YEARS AFTER. — HAPPINESS, — VIOLA A WIFE AND MOTHER.— 
REMINISCENCES. 

One more brief scene, reader ; and with it we shall 
conclude this eventful history. 

Some ten year^ have elapsed since Viola's double 
escape, and we would draw your attention to a hand- 
some and spacious villa, situatpd upon the -confines 
of one of the most beautiful inland towns in the State 
of Pennsylvania. Without and within, as the visitor 
at once acknowledged, it displayed every evidence 
of the wealth, the good taste, and the refinement of 
its occupants, - 

Upon a table in one of the elegantly arranged and 
sumptuously furnished apartments, on the lower floor, 
there was a small square glass case, containing a 
dead bird, stufi'ed ; and around the neck of the bird 
was' a dingy looking letter, fastened by a faded 
ribbon. 

It was the twilight of a soft summer evening, and 
standing before the case, gazing at the bird, were two 



258 Viola Hastings ; oVy 



persons. One of these was a negro, still in the prime 
of life ; and the other a bright-eyed, raven-headed 
boy. 

" Scipio," said the boy, addressing the negro, 
" what's the reason papa leaves that dirty looking 
letter tied around the bird's neck ? Vm sure it don't 
add anything to the looks of the beautiful bird." 

** Well, you see, Marster Ken," rejoined our old ac- 
quaintance, his eye brightening at the recollection, — 
'Mar's an inte'sting story 'nected wid dat bird, an' 
dat 'pistle." 

" Is there ?" rejoined the boy. *' Why I never 
heard it." 

" Guess your farder fought you mos' too young, 
Marster Ken." 

'^ Well, now, you come sit down and tell it to me 1" 
urged the lad, attempting to draw the negro to a 
seat. " Had papa and mamma anything to do with 
it?" 

" Dey had, fo' shu, Marster Ken. But I'd rudder 
not tell you de story, 'kase I dunno all de 'stances o' 
de 'fair. Ax your farder and mudder — p'rhaps dey 
will tell you." 

At that moment the door of the room was opened, 
and a gentleman, in the full flush of a healthy and 
vigorous manhood, with a lovely, gentle looking wo- 
man leaning upon his left arm, and a sweet young 
girl, of siz or seven summers, in his right hand, en- 



The Triumph of Love and Faith, 259 

tered the apartment. It was Kenneth Egerton, hia 
wife Yiola, and the youngest of their two children. 

" Marster Ken want to hear de story o' dat dar 
bird," exclaimed Scipio, as the party entered the 
room ; "an' I 'ferred him to you, Marster Egaton, for 
de 'ticlars." 

" A story about the bird !" cried the womanly little 
girl by Kenneth's side ; " do tell it, papa." 

Kenneth bent his eyes first upon the bird ; and 
from the bird he looked to his sweet children ; and 
from his children he turned his gaze down to the 
misty, uplifted eyes of his lovely and loving wife. 

" Gratify them, dear Kenneth," murmured Yiola, 
in low, soft, tremulous tones, as a memory of the long 
past welled up in her heart. 

Kenneth bent his head and imprinted a soft kiss 
upon the brow of his wife ; and then seating himself, 
he drew Viola and the children to his side, and pre- 
pared to recount the thrilling scenes of other days. 

" May I stay yere, Marster Egaton ?" inquired the 
negro, eagerly. 

" Stay !" responded Kenneth, looking up, suddenly, 

" Shu, Marster Egaton 1^' 

" Don't ask me such a foolish question again, Sci- 
pio," continued Kenneth. " How often have I told 
3^ou that the memory of the past linked us together, 
forever. In my house you are a privileged character 



2G0 Viola Hastings J 



Besides, what would the story be without you ? Sit 
down." 

The negro drew his huge hand across his eyes — 
for kindness always touches the human heart — and 
quietly crouched down upon a stool in a corner. 

" Ah, Scipio," said Viola, smiling through her tears, 
" we can never pay you the half of what we owe 
you." 

" Well, nebber mine de pay. Missus," responded 
Scipio, choking down his emotion. " Jest let us hear 
Marster Egaton tell de story agin ; doe I can't say as 
Tse gotten much o' it." 

Why prolong "he happy scene ? When Kenneth 
finished, there were tears of joy in the eyes of all. 
Turning to his wife and children, the husband and 
father folded them to his bosom in a long and fervent 
embrace, and thank God! fell from the trembhng 
lips of both Kenneth and Viola. 

A moment of silence ensued. 

" Dar, Marster Ken, what you tink o' dat?" de- 
manded Scipio, as soon as the lad was released from 
the embrace of his parents. 

" I shall like the bird, now, more than ever," re- 
sponded the boy, as he turned to the case. 

" So you ourt'er, Marster Ken. Dat's so, now !" 

" And more than the bird, Scipio, I shall like you." 

" Well, nebber mind me, Marster Ken. I'd do as 
much ogin fo' Marster an' Missus eny day. Dat's so I" 



The Triumph of Love and Faith, 261 

Upon this scene of unalloyed happiness, patient 
reader, we now drop the curtain ; venturing the 
hope that you are each and all well satisfied with the 
fullness of joy, which, after her night of darkness, 
lighted the pathway of Yiola, the Jesuit's Ward.